Air France announced last week that they placed an order for 60 brand new A220-300 and that they would retire their A380 by 2022.
Air France retiering their remaining A380
The remaining A380 currently in the fleet of Air France will all be reitred by 2022, after the first A380 operated in 2009 for Air France. High fuel costs, high CO2 emissions, high maintenance costs, and more or less outdated cabins are reasons for the retirmenet of the A380. They will probably be replaced by A330-900neo or A350s and new B787 already in the fleet or on order.
New A220 aircraft on order
On the other hand, Air France now also ordered 60 new generation A220-300, the former Bombardier C Series. They are known to be more economic. The first aircraft is planned to fly for Air France in 2021.
Air France placed an option for additional 60 A220 to eventually replace their complete short haul fleet with this aircraft. Their A318s have an average age over 14 years and their A319s over 18years.
End of the A380 era?
More and more airlines plan on retiring their A380 due to the costs involves. So it looks like after the first A380 flight in 2005 not even 15 years ago, the era is already ending and cannot be compared to the queen of the skies, the B747.