See Ya, Airbus A340s and A380s – COVID Fleet Retirement Sequence

This can be a continuation of our COVID fleet recall sequence, the place we leverage our archive to commemorate plane that had been retired early resulting from COVID. In our first installment of the sequence we stated goodbye to the Queen of the Skies, the Boeing 747-400. On this story, we’re left with the theme of “4 engines 4 lengthy haul”, however we switched from Boeing to Airbus.

An Airbus A380, A340 and some A320 hanging out at Toulouse Blagnac airport

An Airbus A380, A340 and a few A320 hanging out at Toulouse Blagnac airport

With fewer folks flying, plus the growing use of fuel-efficient long-haul twin-engine jets in airline fleets, older quadruple jets are dropping like flies. It is no marvel, then, that a number of airways retired their Airbus A340 and A380 fleets. The A380 is a singular behemoth, the most important and presumably essentially the most snug airliner on the market. And its large sister, the glossy A340, has captured the eyes and hearts of AvGeeks world wide.

Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A340 (G-VRED)

Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A340 (G-VRED)

Learn on as we take a stroll down reminiscence lane as we are saying goodbye to some A340 and A380.

Airbus A380

Close-up of the Air France A380

French Air

Au Revoir, Air France A380 – This nice girl was getting a little bit lame – certainly one of my final pre-COVID flights was a transatlantic leg from Paris to New York on an Air France A380. It was an ideal reminder of how majestic the airplane was. However truthfully, the onboard expertise wasn’t nice, with a enterprise class that felt extra like premium economic system.

Air France A380 Jetway Vista

Nonetheless, there have been tons of enjoyable AvGeek moments, like a rear digital camera takeoff view (see beneath), the unusual “artwork gallery” on the entrance of the highest deck, and the silent experience.

Flight Evaluation: Air France A380 in Premium Financial system – A meticulously detailed journey report of a honeymoon flight from San Francisco to Paris from senior correspondent John Nguyen in 2015. Again then, the airplane was a bit cooler, although the general expertise was nonetheless a bit hit or miss.

Without a doubt ... we are in the country of Air France.  Photo: John Nguyen |  Airline Reporter

Unquestionably… we’re within the nation of Air France – Picture: John Nguyen | Airline Reporter


VH-OQA, a Qantas A380-841 on the ramp at Avalon Airport, Victoria, 5 years in the past. Picture – Bernie Leighton

Luckily, Qantas hasn’t completely recalled its A380s, however has suspended them till a minimum of 2023. Relying on how journey developments unfold within the subsequent few years, it is not inconceivable for them to go away the skies for good.

First Class Adventures in a Qantas Airbus A380 – Final yr Colin Prepare dinner had the chance to check Qantas in all of the cabin lessons they provide. His top notch flight was in an A380 and it was a dream of a time. And with the quantity of house accessible within the first-class A380, it is easy to see why. It is undoubtedly certainly one of our must-see journey reviews from the archives. See additionally Mal Muir’s journey report in the identical airplane and cabin from 2013.

One final picture earlier than saying goodbye

Qantas will regain some world data by switching to an A380 – In 2014, Qantas regained the crown of the world’s longest A380 flight by changing its direct Sydney-Dallas flight to an A380. And extra just lately, Qantas had been in search of choices to function direct flights from Australia to London in a sustainable approach, though that won’t be possible from Sydney or Perth with the A380.

Nevertheless, opponents can typically be associates and we will not neglect about this unbelievable Qantas-Emirates A380 formation flight in 2013.


German mega airline Lufthansa is recalling half of its A380 fleet resulting from COVID. So whereas the good white whale will nonetheless be capable of fly at Lufthansa, it is going to be a rarer alternative.

Lufthansa Airways First Class Airbus A380 Video Tour – In 2011 we obtained to see the Lufthansa A380 First Class cabin. Then and now, it is essentially the most premium premium cabin on the airline. And boy, does it impress.

Lufthansa's Airbus A380 (D-AIMD) receives a water salute when it arrives in San Francisco on May 10.

Touring with Lufthansa on its inaugural A380 flight from Frankfurt to Miami – one other gem from the period when Lufthansa’s A380 was a lot newer and extra thrilling. Click on and skim to relive the glory days of the gradual launch of the A380 in America.

The belly of a Lufthansa A380 - Photo: David Parker Brown

The stomach of a Lufthansa A380 – Picture: David Parker Brown

Flying Financial system Class on the High Deck in a Lufthansa Airbus A380 – My first story with AirlineReporter was in a Lufthansa A380. It’s true that it isn’t an ideal report. However since I used to be flying on the higher deck of a double-decker airplane for the primary time, it was a particular flight for me.

Back stairs of the Air France A380.  Photo: John Nguyen |  Airline Reporter

Air France A380 again stairs – Picture: John Nguyen | Airline Reporter

There are a number of different airways that will put apart or archive their A380s earlier than all of it ends with COVID. However for now, that is it for the enjoyable of the A380. It is an superior airplane with loads of quirks – curvy stairs and all. Now let’s flip our consideration to the A340.

Airbus A340


Wait, did not we simply discuss Lufthansa? Properly, it is no marvel the airline that led the pack on the COVID fleet downsides additionally determined to ditch its outdated fuel-starved, four-engine A340s. General, there was no query that A340s all over the place had been in bother when COVID known as. Even in 2012, we printed “Goodbye to Airbus A340”.

Lufthansa prepares for flight in snowy conditions - Photo: Andrew Poure

Lufthansa prepares for flight in snowy situations – Picture: Andrew Poure

Anyway, let’s return to Lufthansa. As with its A380s, a few of the plane could also be saved without end, whereas others may presumably rejoin the fleet later. We do not have full tales in regards to the Lufthansa A340, however some time in the past a reader despatched us a cool picture they took of an LH A340-600. Right here you’ve! (Thanks reader Drew)

Virgin atlantic

The A340 was one of many mainstays of Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul fleet. However particularly because the Dreamliner joined the fleet, it was clear that the times of the A340 had been numbered.

4 engines, for lengthy distances – Picture: John Walton

Flying in Bubbles – Excessive Class in a Virgin Atlantic A340-600 – Correspondent Jonathan Trent-Carlson took us aboard enterprise class – wow, I imply “Excessive Class” – journey in an A340-600. It was my first time in a wide-body plane, so it was a really particular journey.

The Higher Class Cabin – Picture: John Walton

French Air

No less than because the final replace we heard, Air France is completely shelving its A340s, a few of which had been used for the short-lived “millennial airline” Joon.

Joon also has some A340s in the fleet - Photo: Oliver |  FlickrCC

Joon additionally has some A340s within the fleet – Picture: Oliver | FlickrCC

Video: Air France A340 aborts touchdown in St Maarten throughout Hurricane Isaac – Not our video, nevertheless it was loopy sufficient that we wrote a narrative about it in 2012. Nevertheless, that is all we’ve on file about it Air France A340.

That is it for this tribute! There’s a LOT of unpredictability in what airways are doing with their fleets. So there is likely to be extra A380s and A340s flying into sundown earlier than that is over. However, if air journey recovers quicker than anticipated, maybe a few of these retired planes will likely be again in service. Who is aware of. For now, share your individual tales about A380 and A340 within the remark part beneath.

The See Ya, Airbus A340s and A380s – COVID Fleet Retirement Sequence submit appeared first on AirlineReporter.

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