In late May, Air France announced the permanent grounding of its A380 fleet. This was not especially surprising since the airline had previously announced that it would retire its A380s in 2022; COVID merely sped up the airline’s plans.
Following the announcement, Air France removed its A380s from its schedule…except for two routes:
- CDG to PVG, starting October 26th, 2020
- CDG to ATL, starting September 1st, 2020
You can actually go ahead and book these routes. You’ll see from Air France’s seat maps that the aircraft is indeed an A380 – you’ll notice airline’s unique first class cabin layout below.
Does this mean that Air France’s A380s will actually fly these routes? Not exactly. The airline has been quite definitive about the immediate grounding of their A380 fleet; they even operated a final two-hour goodbye flight around France.
Most likely, the airline will eventually swap out the A380 for 777s on this route. Aircraft swaps are not uncommon at all. Air France also appears to be accommodating for an aircraft swap by blocking seats. You can only book four seats in first, not the nine seats that would be bookable in the A380 first class cabin.