If Air France No Longer Wants The Airbus A380, Will Anyone?
One estimate is that the A380 costs between $26,000 and $29,000 per hour to operate, compared to about $7400 an hour for the Boeing 777
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November 28, 2018 - by Michael Goldstein for Forbes
"I can't get no respect," moaned the late and overweight comedian Rodney Dangerfield. The Airbus A380, largest and heaviest airliner in operation today, could say that too after Air France reportedly will dump half of its A380 fleet—aircraft built and tested at the "hometown" Airbus factory in Toulouse.
Like the quashing of a recent rumor that Lufthansa was on the verge of ordering another 15 A380s, this is another black eye for the world's largest passenger plane. After all, if France and Germany, the countries that build the A380, don't want it, who will?
Air France currently has ten Airbus A380s in its fleet. The original Air France order was for 12 A380 aircraft, but the airline asked that the final two aircraft of the order be fulfilled with A350s instead. Now, according to French publication Les Echos, the present Air France fleet of 10 A380s will be cut to five. Two of the Air France planes will reportedly be returned when their lease runs out next year, while three more will be returned later, possibly in 2020.
As for new A380 orders, reports are that the major customer for the A380, Emirates Airlines, and Airbus were at odds over the fuel consumption of the Rolls-Royce engines for the 36 planes Emirates ordered in January. No other orders for the giant craft have materialized this year.
None of this is good news for the A380, erstwhile queen of the skies. Some even say the giant jumbo jet should never have been built...