AF to progressively reduce its A380 fleet to 5 frames

Old Nov 23, 18, 3:16 am
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AF to progressively reduce its A380 fleet to 5 frames

https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-se...80-2224287.php

Ben Smith has confirmed they will keep the A380 though the number of frames will be reduced to 5.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 3:39 am
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I also read at least based on the Dutch news, that AF actually wanted to get rid of it, but because the lack of 2nd hand market for it, they are not able to get rid of it. But gosh, another year of wait before they even begin to modernize it is quite terrible...and getting all 5 done will most probably end of somwhere 2021 before all is upgraded.
Those planes are already showing lots of wear and tear besides that they are not what their competition is offering including if you compare it to BA's compact J class - which at least is flat and somewhat has aisle access for all.

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Old Nov 24, 18, 9:17 pm
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Just to summarize the article.
AF has 10 A380s, 5 leased, 5 owned.
Operating costs are much higher (fuel) than for 77W. Business clients dislike the J seat. There are many technical incidents with A380s.
The leased ac will be returned when the contracts expire (two in 2019). The owned ones should be kept as there is no second-hand market for them.
They should be retrofitted with BEST starting end-2020.

IMO, whether this will actually happen in two years remains a question mark.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 9:43 pm
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IMO if the plan is still being formed, nothing is set to stone when it comes to retrofitting them.
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Old Nov 25, 18, 5:31 am
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Are the leased ones NEV3 or NEV4?
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Old Nov 25, 18, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by SEA-Flyer View Post
Are the leased ones NEV3 or NEV4?
itís mixed unfortunately. Apparently, among the 5 owned by AF, 3 have NEV3
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Old Nov 25, 18, 8:15 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post

itís mixed unfortunately. Apparently, among the 5 owned by AF, 3 have NEV3
Bummer. Would have been nice if they were the NEV3 ones. While the A380 is too big of an aircraft which makes it difficult to sell tickets for all the seats, I think AF's problem is made worse by the crappy business class seats that they never did anything about. Nobody who knows better would ever book a business class ticket on the A380 when there is an alternative available. NEV4 is a noncompetitive product. NEV3 is much worse. I've often noticed a price difference on routes that have both the A380 and the 777, that the A380 is substantially cheaper in business class.
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Old Nov 25, 18, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by SEA-Flyer View Post
Bummer. Would have been nice if they were the NEV3 ones. While the A380 is too big of an aircraft which makes it difficult to sell tickets for all the seats, I think AF's problem is made worse by the crappy business class seats that they never did anything about. Nobody who knows better would ever book a business class ticket on the A380 when there is an alternative available. NEV4 is a noncompetitive product. NEV3 is much worse. I've often noticed a price difference on routes that have both the A380 and the 777, that the A380 is substantially cheaper in business class.
They do not really have problems to sell the seats. Everytime I take those, they are super full. But their config is too premium-heavy to have the flexibility to put them on different routes depending on the season. And now, as you rightly said, many well-informed business travelers are avoiding it when they can because of the seat. I am one of those. I truly like the plane but, if I can, I avoid it for several years now, because I don’t want to play the Russian roulette between NEV3/NEV4 seats. I can bear the NEV4, but not the NEV3 seat. To/from IAD for instance, if my schedule permits it, I take the B77W with the BEST seats rather than the A380.
So the yields are somewhat lower with the A380 because of that and also because there are more seats to sell in the cheaper fares.
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Last edited by Goldorak; Nov 26, 18 at 12:08 am
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Old Nov 25, 18, 5:55 pm
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Yeah, I think the large J capacity is the primary factor behind lower fares, less so the quality of the product. The cheapest Z fares will sell out sooner on other aircraft. That’s not to say that there is no impact from some people booking away, but schedule is probably more important for most business travelers.
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Old Nov 25, 18, 8:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post

They do not really have problems to see the seats. Everytime I take those, they are super full. But their config is too premium-heavy to have the flexibility to put them on different routes depending on the season. And now, as you rightly said, many well-informed business travelers are avoiding it when they can because of the seat. I am one of those. I truly like the plane but, if I can, I avoid it for several years now, because I donít want to play the Russian roulette between NEV3/NEV4 seats. I can bear the NEV4, but not the NEV3 seat. To/from IAD for instance, if my schedule permits it, I take the B77W with the BEST seats rather than the A380.
So the yields are somewhat lower with the A380 because of that and also because there are more seats to sell in the cheaper fares.
It is never easy to tell if the airline "sells" a lot of premium seats based on the observation of a full J cabin. On my recent flight from CDG on CX (not AF) in F, I chatted with the station manager. He said that the flight was full, but that half of the J pax will be upgrades (opup or miles) and staff. Of course F was full too although there were only two seats taken at OLCI (CX blocks a F seat for all booked pax).
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Old Nov 26, 18, 9:28 am
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Keeping just 5 A380 in the fleet does not make a lot of sense, unless all maintenance is outsourced, which is unlikely to happen. And designing a whole new cabin just for 5 aircrafts does not make a lot of sense either.
So to me, this sounds just like a first step before they announce that the A380 is retired from the fleet.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by olivedel View Post
Keeping just 5 A380 in the fleet does not make a lot of sense, unless all maintenance is outsourced, which is unlikely to happen. And designing a whole new cabin just for 5 aircrafts does not make a lot of sense either.
So to me, this sounds just like a first step before they announce that the A380 is retired from the fleet.
Maybe, but:
CZ has only 5 A380s
TG and OZ have only 6 A380s
NH only 3 A380s
and NH only 3...
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Old Nov 26, 18, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by olivedel View Post
Keeping just 5 A380 in the fleet does not make a lot of sense, unless all maintenance is outsourced, which is unlikely to happen. And designing a whole new cabin just for 5 aircrafts does not make a lot of sense either.
So to me, this sounds just like a first step before they announce that the A380 is retired from the fleet.
Good point.

Nonetheless they own these 5 frames. Because their value on the second hand market is currently (and apparently not expected to move from) zero, they might have considered the cost to keep them is lower than the cost to get rid of them.
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Old Nov 26, 18, 7:59 pm
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So many 380s headed to the desert, so annoying, it is the perfect aircraft for crowded airports but airlines have no balls, except for Emirates. The AF A 380s are indeed in poor shape, the next 2-3 years wonít be fun.

The 777s, noisy old and cramped at the back, are not great either. AF ought better to be cheap in the coming years...
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Old Nov 26, 18, 11:14 pm
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Could not agree more.

If only the could get A350s...
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