These days, Air France has a good variety of Airbus aircraft in its fleet. But not too long ago it operated a decent-sized Airbus A300 fleet. We take a look at what happened to it…
Air France had a total of 28 Airbus A300 in its fleet before the turn of the 21st century. Of those 28, 22 were operated and then passed onto other airlines. Four were stored for a brief period and then scrapped. And a final two were written off in separate accidents.
The airline received its first A300 in 1975. In that year it received four in a mixture of B2 and B4 varieties. Air France’s whole A300 fleet was split between these two varieties. The A300B2 was the first produced in 1974 and the B4 came one year later in 1975.
Air France acquired the majority of its fleet between 1975 and 1990. But it did acquire one in 1996 as well. According to Air Fleets, the last A300 recorded in Air France’s fleet was retired in 1998.
When it came to retiring aircraft, Air France had a few favorite airlines. It sent multiple aircraft to the same fleet. Airlines include Vietnam Airlines, Air Inter and Air Jamaica.
The first three aircraft that were acquired in 1975 all went to Air Inter. The first to leave the fleet was F-BVGF in 1983. The other two aircraft, F-BVGE and F-BVGD, followed in 1994. But over the years, Air France also sent two more aircraft to the airline. They were F-GBEA which operated between 1978 and 1987 as well as F-GBEB which was with Air France from 1980 to 1986. All these aircraft have now been scrapped.
But it wasn’t just Air Inter who got Air France’s hand-me-downs. Vietnam Airlines received two of the models. F-BVGG operated with Air France from 1975 until 1996, when it then went to Vietnam. This aircraft is now stored with MNG Airlines in Turkey. F-BVGH operated with Air France 1976 and 1996 and went to Vietnam Airlines in the same year. This aircraft is registered as stored.
Another favorite, FSB was given four ex-Air France A300. F-BVGN was given to FSB in 1998, after operating 18 years with Air France. It is now stored. F-BVGL operated with Air France between 1979 and 1998 when it went to FSB in the same year as the F-BVGN.
Strangely though, whilst another two aircraft went to FSB, they were both involved in accidents and were written off.
F-BVGO came to Air France in 1981. After six years, it went to Air Jamaica but returned to Air France in 1989. At that point, it went to FSB. F-BVGO made a crash landing in 2015 on the way to Somalia from Cairo during operation with Tristar Air. It crashed upon landing due to poor weather conditions, and although none of the six crew on board were harmed, the aircraft was written off.
F-BVGM came to Air France in 1979. It left the fleet in 1985 to go to Air Seychelles, then Malaysia Airlines and back to Air France. In 1998, it went to FSB. But it only operated for one year before going to ICC Cargo and then Aero Union. On 13th April 2010, the aircraft crashed landed at its final destination on a domestic service in Mexico. Approaching Monterrey, Gen Mariano Escobedo, it crashed killing all five crew and two ground staff.
But Air France also has two other aircraft which were written off. Both of which happened whilst the aircraft were with Air France. F-BVGK came to the airline in 1979. In 1982, it suffered an engine fire on take-off from Yemen to Cairo. None of the 124 passengers or crew members were harmed.
Separately, F-GBEC was also written off. It arrived at Air France in 1980. In 1994 it was damaged in Marseille after it was hijacked leading to seven onboard casualties.
The stored aircraft
Only four of Air France’s A300 were stored. The rest were sent to airlines. They were Pakistan International Airlines, ZAS AL of Egypt, Bavaria, Japan Air System and Air Charter.
Four aircraft were kept in storage but have since been scrapped. These aircraft were:
- F-BVGC, delivered 1974. Scrapped 1999.
- F-BVGB, delivered 1974. Withdrawn from use in Chateauroux.
- F-BVGA, delivered in 1974. Stored in Chateauroux.
- F-GLOC, delivered in 1996. Scrapped in 1998.
Do you remember Air France’s Airbus A300 fleet? Let us know in the comments.