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Air France Lands Final A380 Flight

Air France Lands Final A380 Flight
Joe Cortez

After a set of components made their final trek to Airbus’ manufacturing facility in Toulouse, Air France concluded their Airbus A380 operations on June 26, 2020. Carrying 500 Air France employees, the farewell flight took one last loop over France before landing at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport.

The final Airbus A380 in the Air France fleet is grounded at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG), after taking one last celebration flight to the Mediterranean Sea and back. In a tribute online, the French flag carrier announced the final departure and landing for the superjumbo jet on June 26, 2020.


COVID-19 Forces Early Retirement

Originally scheduled for retirement by 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Air France-KLM to reconsider their plans. After flights around the world were stopped and the demand for travel plummeted, the airline announced on May 20, 2020 they would immediately begin phasing out all A380 operations.

For the final celebration flight, Air France ferried 500 staff members on one last loop over France. FlightRadar24 shows Air France Flight 380 departed from Charles de Gaulle International Airport, and began a southward loop towards the French Riviera. After flying over Montpellier and Marseille, the aircraft turned north one last time and landed in Paris, where it was celebrated alongside the modern Airbus A350, and the Concorde supersonic jet.


The end of A380 operations is part of a greater fleet simplification strategy, as they try to reduce their carbon footprint using more fuel-efficient aircraft. Instead of flying the superjumbo jet, Air France will use a similar strategy as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines by using lighter and fuel-efficient aircraft. The A380 will be replaced by the Airbus A350 XWB and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Grounding all the aircraft will come with a significant up-front cost for the French airline. With five owned or on finance lease, and four more on operating lease, the write down is expected to cost around $561 million.

Flight Coincides With Closure of A380 Program

The final Air France A380 flight matches another marker of the aircraft’s demise. Earlier in June 2020, the last A380 components built near Saint-Nazare, France departed on its final convoy for Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France.

Although Air France is ending their A380 operations, the program as a whole is expected to live on for years. According to Airbus’ sale sheet, the manufacturer has outstanding deliveries due to All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Emirates.

View Comments (6)


  1. mmff

    June 26, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    The end of an era!

  2. rylan

    June 26, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    Bye Bye whale!

    What a epic failure of a airplane program… Fleet not even 15 years old and its gone, and how many millions of dollars blown by airports around the globe to rebuild gates and taxiways to accommodate the bloated beast?

  3. edgewood49

    June 27, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I will miss AF business class on the 380 actually felt First was a let down on plane. Sad

  4. SQPPS

    June 28, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    Business on this plane was awful with the angled seat. That’s reason to celebrate for all of us. Now flights to JNB will be more pleasant, if they ever run again.

  5. Alan John

    July 4, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    What a sad day for aviation. I admit they needed a refit but they’ll be missed.

  6. MaxVO


    July 7, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    AF livery looks particularly ugly on the A380. They desperately need something prettier.

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