According to information from French newspaper Les Echos, Air France plans to reduce its fleet of A380s. Benjamin Smith, currently managing director of Air France-KLM and interim managing director of Air France, has made the decision not to renew the leasing agreements for two of its aircraft that will expire at the end of 2019. Three other aircraft could follow them on the way to the exit to keep only half of the current fleet.
Currently, Air France operates ten A380s, five under leasing, the other five in own ownership. The company will celebrate in 2019 their tenth year of operations.
There are two main reasons to this move. First, Air France finds the A380, which is the largest and heaviest airliner, costly to operate compared to its B777-300ERs which carry about the same number of passengers. It costs around $26,000 and $29,000 per hour to operate the A380s compared to only $7,400 an hour for the B777. Second, its A380 need renovation and that would cost as much as 45 million euros per aircraft, a total of 225 millions for Air France’s five A380 aircraft.