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Paris, France - French flag carrier and Air France - KLM partner Air France has announced that it would accelerate the retirement of its Airbus A380 fleet.

The airline said it was planning to phase out its superjumbos immediately rather than waiting for 2022 as initially scheduled.

French operator's A380s have been idled since March 16 as the travel restrictions caused by the global pandemic plunged the demand for air travel.

“In the context of the current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on anticipated activity levels, the Air France-KLM group announces today the definitive end of Air France Airbus A380 operations,”

The company said on May 20.

Air France currently has ten Airbus A380s in its fleet, of which five are owned by the airline.

The group expects the overall impact of the A380 phase-out to amount to a writedown of €500 million ($550 million) and said that it would be booked in the second quarter of 2020 as a non-current cost/expense.

Air France said the A380s would be replaced by A350s and Boeing 787s. The flag-carrier announced an order for 10 extra Airbus A350s in December, adding to an existing order. It said at the time they would replace its departing A380s and help it to speed up the departure of its A340s.


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