France’s flag carrier accelerated plans to retire its fleet of nine A380 aircraft with immediate effect. The aircraft had been grounded since March 16. Previously, the airline had intended to phase out the aircraft by 2022.
Lufthansa To Halve Its A380 Fleet
Lufthansa is another European carrier offloading some of its A380s. The German airline plans to retire one more A380, which post-coronavirus, will see the halving of its fleet from 14 aircraft to seven.
No Change For British Airways
British Airways has yet to disclose its post-COVID-19 fleet plans for its A380 fleet, but it is reportedly looking to bring forward retirements of another widebody--the Boeing 747. The airline currently operates 12 A380s.
Credit: Rob Finlayson
Etihad Likely To Bring Forward A380 Retirements Post-Crisis
Credit: Etihad Airways Engineering
Etihad, which operated 10 A380s pre-crisis, sent the aircraft for long-term storage in Europe earlier this year. Adding to its uncertain future in its fleet, the airline's CEO Tony Douglas stated that he didn't see the superjumbo as commercially viable.
Asia-Pacific Could Also See A380 Fleet Changes
Credit: Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week
The restructuring of troubled carrier Thai Airways to avoid bankruptcy brought on by COVID-19 could see fleet changes occur. The carrier currently operates six A380s, all of which are presently grounded. Japan’s All Nippon Airways has confirmed it doesn’t intend to take delivery of its last A380, scheduled for this year.
With production concluding by 2021, the long-term fate of the Airbus A380 had been sealed for some time. Yet, the superjumbo was expected to still be present in the global fleet at least for the next decade. However, COVID-19 will see retirements accelerated with carriers in Europe announcing cuts to their superjumbo fleets and airlines in other regions considering the near-term future of their A380 aircraft.