The Air France Fleet In 2021

With its fleet of over 200 aircraft, Air France has a good mix of widebody and narrowbody jets, with the former comprised of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. While the carrier lost a type in 2020 with the retirement of the A380, it is set to gain a new type later this year with the addition of the Airbus A220. Let’s look at Air France’s fleet in 2021.

Air France A220
Air France is expecting to take its first Airbus A220 this September. Photo: Air France

The fleet as it stands

According to data from ch-aviation, Air France has the following aircraft in its fleet. The quantities are noted in parentheses.

Aircraft from Airbus:
Aircraft from Boeing:
  • 777-200ER (23)
  • 777-300ER (43)
  • 787-9 (10)

We should note that outside of passenger services, the carrier also has two 777-200F aircraft for cargo operations.

The Air France Fleet In 2021
The airline’s newest aircraft are its A350-900s. At the beginning of May, it welcomed its ninth A350. Photo: Air France

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Out with the old…

The major difference in Air France’s fleet between 2020 and 2021 is the absence of its 10 A380 superjumbos. While the carrier had a pre-existing plan to retire the double-decker quad jets before the global health crisis, the pandemic moved these plans up in a big way. All of Air France’s A380s were grounded at the onset of the crisis, never to perform commercial passenger service again.

With little appetite for the aircraft, even on the second-hand market, finding a buyer for the 7-10-year-old jets has been a difficult task.

Etihad, Airbus A380, Retirement
Air France was the first operator to officially announce the retirement of its A380s. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

…In with the new

Although the airline said goodbye to its Airbus A380s in 2020, Air France will welcome a new type into its ranks in a few months’ time. It was back in July 2019 that it announced an order for 60 A220-300s with another 30 options and 30 acquisition rights. December 2019 then saw the carrier firm up its order. It has been patiently waiting for these aircraft ever since, with a first delivery expected in September.

According to an Airbus statement, the A220 was selected to modernize the airline’s single-aisle fleet. Indeed, Air France-KLM stated that the jets would gradually replace Air France’s A318 and A319 fleet, which currently total 49 aircraft.

The Air France Fleet In 2021
Air France is one of the few airlines in the world to operate still operate the A318. The airline’s capacity in relation to its weight made it less attractive to carriers. Photo: Air France

A continuation of diversity

With Air France having some fairly young 787s, it looks like it will continue to have a fairly diverse fleet of aircraft for the foreseeable future. These 10 Dreamliners have an average age of just three years. The youngest was delivered less than a year ago, in July 2020.

However, it looks like the airline will steadily become more Airbus-dominant as it continues to take delivery of more A350-900s. These will slowly replace the airline’s aging 777-200ERs, which have an average age of over 21 years.

The Air France Fleet In 2021
Air France’s 777-200ERs are an average of 21 years old, while its 777-300ERs are an average of 13 years old. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Of course, if fleet simplification is the goal, the airline has a big advantage in its close relationship with KLM. With the two airlines belonging to the aptly-named Air France-KLM Group, aircraft transfers and order swaps are more of a possibility. We’ve already seen this with the two carriers, as they previously swapped orders for 787s and A350s. For now, however, the French flag carrier will continue to operate jets from both planemakers.

What do you think of Air France’s fleet? Are there any jets you’d like to see the carrier operate? Let us know in the comments.

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