It looks like the A380 will soon be making its final bow for another airline. Air France had announced that it is retiring its Airbus A380 fleet by 2022 in a media statement. The airline cited that a competitive operating environment, high fuel costs, high CO2 emissions, increasing maintenance costs, and the need for cabin refurbishments as the reason for the said decision.
In a statement, Air France said, "The Air France-KLM Board of Directors today approved the retirement in principle of the remaining seven A380s from the Air France fleet by 2022, the phase out of three additional aircraft having been decided previously. Five of these aircraft are owned by the company, while two are leased."
"The current competitive environment limits the markets in which the A380 can profitably operate. With four engines, the A380 consumes 20-25% more fuel per seat than new generation long-haul aircraft, and therefore emits more CO2. Increasing aircraft maintenance costs, as well as necessary cabin refurbishments to meet customer expectations reduce the economic attractiveness of Air France's A380s even further. Keeping this aircraft in the fleet would involve significant costs, while the aircraft programme was suspended by Airbus earlier in 2019," it continued.
Air France had been operating the A380 since 2009. They are now currently looking for A380 replacement options that are currently in the market.
For the past years, airlines have been slowly retiring their Airbus A380s. Singapore Airlines retired its first two, which were all both to the scrapyard since no one wanted to buy them.
The Air France A380 announcement came in the wake of Qantas, Qatar Airways, and Emirates announcing the early retirement plans of their A380.