First of Air France's A380s arrives for dismantling in Ireland
After 10 years of service with Air France, the first of their 10 Airbus A380s landed in Ireland West Airport on February 20th 2020. The aircraft is to be put into storage and dismantled by Eirtrade Aviation.
The A380, registered F-HPJB and powered by GP7200 engines, is the first of up to four ex-Air France A380s to be dismantled by the Co. Mayo based firm.
The aircraft, being the largest passenger plane to grace the skies, drew thousands of spectators to the small airport. It was first returned to its owner, DS Aviation, before making the 3-hour flight from Dresden, Germany to its final destination.
Air France stated that “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 program was suspended by Airbus earlier in 2019.”
With production of the type coming to an end due to improvements in ETOPS ratings and airlines favoring more fuel efficient, two-engined aircraft, scrapping of the aircraft type is set to become a more regular occurrence. Air France has stated that it will be retiring its entire A380 fleet within the next couple of years and Singapore Airlines has already seen off one of its A380s to the scrapyard. Emirates also intends to phase out the type, although it will take a while before all 123 of their super-jumbos leave the fleet.