Airbus A 380’s farewell flight due to the economic impact of COVID-19

Chappy Hakim Chief of Staff of the Air Force 2002-2005 and Author of “Tanah Air Udaraku Indonesia”

IO – Today, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, all airlines around the world are facing a formidable challenge which is the worst crisis in the history of global aviation. Airlines are faced with “low demand” and “travel restrictions” in all corners of the earth’s surface. This situation led airline management to consider immediately stopping the flight operations of the types of aircraft that were considered to be old, inefficient, and too large. 

What is interesting is that the French flag carrier Air France recently decided to stop using Airbus A380 aircraft. Although of course the Airbus A380 is not counted as an old plane. Please note that the Airbus A380 has just entered the 15th year since its inaugural flight in 2005. Commercial civil aircraft are generally able to be used within a minimum period of 20 to 30 years before being discontinued. The Airbus A380 is rated as an in  efficient airplane, partly because it uses 4 engines which will certainly result in wasteful fuel consumption. On the other hand, the size of the Airbus A380 which is too large adds to the burden of the company amid the difficulty of obtaining passengers using air transport services. 

Thus, Air France became the first airline in the world to decide to stop its flight operations using the Airbus A380. An ironic decision from a country that has a big hand in producing super large and super modern aircraft Airbus A380. Not only that, but Air France has also become the first airline to decide to stop using the Airbus A380 altogether in its fleet. Once again, the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced Air France to make this decision. When the COVID-19 outbreak had not yet surfaced, Air France had planned and decided to ground all Airbus A380s owned in its fleet by 2022. The plan had been submitted this May 2020, with very sensible considerations as a result of declining interest in people to fly and restrictions on the movement of people in many countries around the world as a result of COVID-19. 

It is not known or yet what will be done by other airlines that also use the Airbus A380 in its fleet. Currently, as many as 14 airlines registered the use of the Airbus A380 worldwide. What is certain is that almost all of them are stopping or restricting flight operations, including the use of the A380, awaiting the development of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept across the earth’s surface. Meanwhile, the German Airline Company Lufthansa has decided to stop using 6 Airbus A380 aircraft from its total of 14, and also some of the B 747-400 types as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.