22 December 2022
After 10 years, the final Airbus A380 has now left Malaysia Airlines’ fleet.
Malaysia Airlines has said goodbye to its sixth and final Airbus A380, which has now been ferried to France for storage. The aircraft, registered as 9M-MNF, arrived at Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport (LDE) on December 19th.
The arrival of 9M-MNF in France marks the end of a 10-year relationship between the Malaysian flag carrier and the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Malaysia welcomed its first Airbus A380, 9M-MNA, in May 2012, with its sixth and final superjumbo arriving less than one year later, in March 2013.
9M-MNF’s final journey can be seen here:
Malaysia Airlines and the Airbus A380 – a brief history
Prior to the pandemic, Malaysia Airlines deployed its fleet of Airbus A380s on routes to Europe, Australasia, and Asia, from its hub at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL). At the peak of its operations, it flew double daily between Kuala Lumpur and London Heathrow (LHR). The airline’s Airbus A380s were grounded at the beginning of the pandemic when the airline suspended operations.
Each Airbus A380 in the airline’s fleet carried a total of 494 passengers in a three-class configuration – 8 in first class, 66 in business class, and 420 in economy class. They were registered as follows:
- 9M-MNA – delivered May 2012, retired December 2022
- 9M-MNB – delivered August 2012, retired November 2022
- 9M-MNC – delivered November 2012, retired November 2022
- 9M-MND – delivered November 2012, retired November 2022
- 9M-MNE – delivered February 2013, retired December 2022
- 9M-MNF – delivered March 2013, retired December 2022
Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), the parent company of Malaysia Airlines, had been looking for ways to dispose of its Airbus A380s since July 2021, when the airline’s restructuring was completed. It had hoped to sell them, but this never came to fruition.
The aircraft were stored at Kuala Lumpur International Airport until November 2022, when Malaysia Airlines began transferring them to Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport, where they will remain stored until further notice.
Malaysia Airlines’ streamlined fleet
Following the departure of the Airbus A380, Malaysia Airlines’ fleet now consists of six Airbus A330-200s, 15 Airbus A330-300s, six Airbus A350-900s, and 43 Boeing 737-800s.
As part of its ongoing fleet renewal plan, the airline has ordered 20 Airbus A330neos, which will replace the aging Airbus A330-200s and -300s. It is understood that the airline is trading in its Airbus A380s as part of that deal. In addition to the 20 Airbus A330neos that are on order, the airline is also awaiting delivery of 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Some airlines have opted to return their Airbus A380s to operation following the pandemic, including Etihad Airways, which recently announced that four of its 10 Airbus A380s will be brought back into service for summer 2023. While the future of the ex-Malaysia Airlines Airbus A380s has yet to be confirmed, there are doubts as to whether they will ever take to the skies again with another airline.
Did you find what you are looking for? Try out the enhanced Google Search: