Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
Towards the end of May, Air France announced that it was retiring its A380 fleet with immediate effect and, although the A380 was a somewhat unloved member of the Air France fleet (and due to be retired in 2022), that news caught a lot of us off guard. Some were disappointed to see another airline dispensing with the whale jet while I, on the other hand, was very pleased.
It has been over two months since Air France announced that its A380s wouldn’t be taking to the skies again (at least not as a part of Air France’s commercial operations) but it’s only now that Air France has updated its schedules to show what aircraft it will be using on the routes that the A380 once operated.
At the time of the A380’s retirement announcement, the aircraft was still scheduled to operate on six of Air France’s routes out of Paris Charles de Gaulle. The A380 wasn’t scheduled to operate all of the flights on all six routes but all six of these airports were set to see Air France A380 service:
- Abidjan (ABJ)
- Johannesburg (JNB)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Mexico City Juarez (MEX)
- Miami (MIA)
- Shanghai Pudong (PVG)
Now, following a schedule update posted this week, all of the A380’s flights to these airports set to be operated by Air France’s 777-300ER aircraft. For travelers with aspirations of booking the very exclusive La Premier First Class cabin with miles, the removal of the A380 from these routes will be disappointing as award seats will now be even harder to come by than they already were (the A380 had a minimum of 6 more First Class seats than any of Air France’s 777-300ERs), but for Business Class passengers this is mostly excellent news.
According to SeatGuru, Air France operates its 777-300ERs in a variety of cabin layouts but, as far as these 6 routes go, Air France is set to use just two different aircraft layouts.
The 777-300ERs that are now scheduled to operate to Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Miami, and Shanghai in place of the A380 all offer 4 First Class seats and 58 Business Class seats set out in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone layout.
This is an excellent Business Class cabin in which to travel (review here) and it offers a huge upgrade over the antiquated seating found in the Air France A380 Business Class cabin.
The 777-300ERs operating on these routes also offer 28 Premium Economy seats (the same number as the A380 offered) but the Economy Class cabins are home to seats that are marginally narrower than the Economy Class seats offered by the A380.
Abidjan is the only former A380 destination that, at the time of writing, isn’t set to get much of an upgrade as the 777-300ER that’s been scheduled to operate this route still has older recliner Business Class seats onboard. Travelers planning to fly on this route would be much better off booking the Air France 777-200 which also operates between Paris and Abidjan as its Business Class cabin has the same seats as the more modern 777-300ERs.
If like me you’ve been waiting to find out what aircraft Air France will schedule in place of the A380 that you were originally booked to fly, the answer is now in – you’ll be flying in a Boeing 777-300ER. If you’re booked to fly in Business Class to five of the six destinations mentioned above, this is a huge upgrade for you. If you’re booked to fly in Business Class to Abidjan, check to see if Air France will let you swap your flight to the one operated by the airline’s 777-200 – if there has been a schedule change your luck may be in.
[HT: Routes Online]