Ben Smith Air France A380 Retirement Is Hardly A Surprise

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Ben Smith

As I predicted, Air France will not bother to retrofit its A380 fleet, but instead retire it by 2022. The writing was on the wall.

Last November, Air France announced it would return half of its A380 fleet rather than retrofit it. Balking at the 45MN EUR price tag per aircraft to retrofit, Air France initially opted to keep the five A380s it owned and return the five it leased. But even that proved too great of a price tag.

It was only last month that I speculated that Air France would likely retire its entire A380 fleet early. That was on the basis of a statement from CEO Ben Smith:

The other seven have older seats and we’re in the middle of making the decision on how long those A380s will be staying in the Air France fleet and whether we should invest €30-€40 million ($33.8-$45.1 million)

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