How To Fly Air France’s Airbus A380s Before Retirement

Advertisement:

With Air France set to retire all their remaining A380s by 2022, time is running out to fly the giant jumbo in Air France livery. We uncover what passengers can expect from the A380 in terms of cabin and comforts, and see which routes still offer the chance to fly the A380 with Air France.

Air France A380
Time is running out to fly the A380 in Air France livery. Photo: Wikimedia

The A380 is a time limited sight in Air France livery. From 2022, the model will no longer fly with the French flag carrying airline, as it was revealed it will be retired sooner than originally expected. Therefore, if you want to fly the A380 with Air France, you’d better get your skates on.

Why fly the A380 with Air France?

The A380 offers a good level of passenger comfort, as well as the kudos of lying on the biggest commercial airliners ever to be built. While the Air France A380s are in need of an update inside, a trip on the plane will still offer a comfortable, spacious and relaxing journey.

Air France A380
Although a bit tired, the A380 cabin will still provide a good level of comfort. Photo: Wikimedia

In economy, seats are laid out in a 3-4-3 configuration, with 389 standard seats. These seats have a pitch of 32” and 17.5” width. Seat recline to 118 degrees and have an adjustable headrest for comfort. All economy passengers will be offered a chilled oshibori (wet towel) on boarding, a pre-meal drink and then a three-course meal at the start of the flight. Hot and cold drinks are available throughout, and all seats have inflight entertainment and USB charging ports available.

For a slight upgrade, the premium economy product offers a completely new seat, with a fixed shell and a greater recline. Pitch in these 38 seats is 38”, with 19” of width, plus you get to sit on the upper deck of the aircraft! Layout is 2-3-2, and in addition to everything provided in economy, passengers can enjoy a complementary travel kit and power outlets in every seat.

Air France A380 business class
Business class is a clear upgrade, but not competitive with what’s on offer from other mainline carriers. Photo: Mathieu Marquer via Flickr

Also upstairs is the large business class cabin, fitted out for 80 passengers with angle flat seats. While the business class product is not as up to date as some transatlantic operators offer, it still offers a decent 55/70” of pitch (angle flat bed) with 24” of width. Laid out in 2-2-2, all seats have both USB and power outlets, and passengers will be offered a welcome champagne as well as a hot oshibori on arrival.

Advertisement:
La Premiere A380
The open suites of La Premiere on the Air France A380. Photo: Andy Mitchel via Flickr

For a real treat, La Premiere is the Air France first class product which offers nine open suites at the pointy end of the downstairs floor. The self-contained suites have a 35” wide seat which transforms into a 6’5”  bed, complete with memory foam mattress. As well as the very best services in your seat, passengers traveling in La Premier can enjoy the on board bar and buffet throughout the flight for a more social experience.

How to fly the Air France A380

According to Routes Online, the A380 is still operated by Air France to seven destinations from Paris (CDG):

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Mexico City Juarez (MEX)
  • New York J F Kennedy (JFK)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Shanghai Pudong (PVG)
  • Washington (IAD)

Of course, the A380 is not the only aircraft operating these routes. Most are served multiple times a day, mainly by a Boeing 777, so if you’re keen to catch the A380 in action, you’ll need to know the flight numbers and times too. Thankfully, we’ve done the legwork, so you don’t have to.

Advertisement:
Air France A380 routes
The routes using the A380 for Air France. Image: GCMap

Paris (CDG) – Atlanta (ATL)

  • Outward: AF 688 leaves at 13:30 from Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E, arriving at Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson ATL (ATL), Terminal I at 17:00
  • Return: AF 689 leaves at 20:01 from Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson ATL (ATL), Terminal I, arriving at Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E at 10:25 +1

Paris (CDG) – Los Angeles (LAX)

  • Outward: AF 066 leaves at 10:00 from Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E, arriving at Los Angeles, International Airport (LAX), Terminal B at 12:30
  • Return: AF 065 leaves at 14:55 from Los Angeles, International Airport (LAX), Terminal B, arriving at Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E at 10:40 +1

Paris (CDG) – Mexico City Juarez (MEX)

Advertisement:
  • Outward: AF 178 leaves at 12:00 from Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E, arriving at Mexico, Juarez International (MEX), Terminal 1 at 16:55
  • Return: AF 179 leaves at 19:55 from Mexico, Juarez International (MEX), Terminal 1, arriving at Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E at 13:50 +1

Paris (CDG) – New York J F Kennedy (JFK)

  • Outward: AF 00 leaves at 14:00 from Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E, arriving at New York, John F Kennedy International (JFK) at 16:25
  • Return: AF 007 leaves at 19:00 from New York, John F Kennedy International (JFK), Terminal 1, arriving at Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E at 08:20 +1

Paris (CDG) – San Francisco (SFO)

  • Outward: AF 082 leaves at 10:20 from Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E, arriving at San Francisco, International Airport (SFO), Terminal I at 12:45
  • Return: AF 083 leaves at 15:20 from San Francisco, International Airport (SFO), Terminal I, arriving at Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E at 11:05 +1

Paris (CDG) – Shanghai Pudong (PVG)

  • Outward: AF 116 leaves at 23:25 from Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E, arriving at Shanghai, Pudong International (PVG), Terminal 1 at 16:35 +1
  • Return: AF 111 leaves at 23:20 from Shanghai, Pudong International (PVG), Terminal 1, arriving at Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E at 05:40 +1

Paris (CDG) – Washington (IAD)

Advertisement:
  • Outward: AF 054 leaves at 13:15 from Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E, arriving at Washington, Dulles International (IAD) at 15:40
  • Return: AF 055 leaves at 18:05 from Washington, Dulles International (IAD), arriving at Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Terminal 2E at 07:35 +1
air-france-a380-retirement
Where will you go? Photo: Air France.

These seven services represent the seven A380s still in service with Air France. Two are due to be retired relatively soon, with the remaining five being taken out of service by 2022. At this time we don’t know which of the routes will be first to lose the A380, or indeed which one will see the last A380 flight from Air France.

Simple Flying did reach out to Air France for clarification on these things and will update this article when we receive a reply.

Will you be flying an Air France A380 before it retires? Let us know in the comments.

Advertisement: