Thursday, October 3, 2013

Air France A380 not network friendly

Air France—which recently took delivery of its ninth of 12 516-seat Airbus A380—will focus more on aircraft sizes such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787s in the future.
Air France chief officer-long-haul passenger activity Bruno Matheu told ATW in Paris that even though the carrier will take delivery of its 10th A380 before next summer, the aircraft “doesn’t fit very well into our network.”
The final two deliveries have been postponed under the carrier’s restructuring plan, Transform 2015.

Matheu said that in addition to the A380’s huge capacity, some airports cannot easily handle the aircraft.

“For example, [to] operate the A380 into Shanghai Pudong, it took us three years to get traffic rights,” he said. Air France will switch its current A380 operation from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Singapore in favor of Shanghai.

Matheu said the smaller-sized A350s and 787s are able to reach the same operating costs per seat as the A380, but Air France can be more competitive, for example, by offering more frequencies.

Matheu expects that, if Air France plans to add more A380s, “it will be not tens of more.”

Matheu said Air France is focusing on its 787 and A350-900 first deliveries. The carrier ordered 25 787-9s in January 2012 and 25 A350-900s in June at the Paris Air Show.

(Kurt Hofmann - ATWOnline News)

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