Malaysia Airlines has sent its final Airbus A380 to long-term storage in Tarbes, France.
The 10-year-old A380-800 aircraft, registered 9M-MNF, was spotted operating a ferry flight to Tarbes on December 19, 2022. According to flight history found on Flightradar24.com, the wide-body passenger plane departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) in Malaysia at around 11.33 a.m. local time on a flight MH5088 to Tarbes–Lourdes–Pyrénées Airport (LDE) in France.
The aircraft is the last of six airframes of the type sent by the Malaysian flag carrier to France for long-term storage. It is expected that the plane will touch down in Tarbes at around 5.55 p.m. local time.
Airbus A380 no longer fits Malaysia Airlines’ plans
The aircraft joined Malaysia Airlines’ fleet in March 2013, according to data from Planespotters.net.
It was actively operating international airline routes across Europe, Australia, and Asia until April 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the airline to pause overseas routes operated by A380s.
Following the completion of its restructuring in May 2021, Malaysia Airlines revealed that it was exploring ways to dispose of all Airbus A380s. The Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), the parent company of the national air carrier, attempted to sell all six aircraft, but the move was unsuccessful. In July 2021, MAG launched the A380 sale tender for the sale and interested parties were invited to send proposals by August 12, 2021. However, the Request for Proposal (RFP) did not attract any serious customers.
According to Planespotters.com, the 9M-MNF, alongside five other wide-body planes of the type – 9M-MNA, 9M-MNB, 9M-MNC, 9M-MND, and 9M-MNE – were stored at KUL airport while waiting for a buyer until November 2022, when Malaysia Airlines decided to move the superjumbos to an aircraft storage facility in France.
The first of the six superjumbos, 9M-MNC, was ferried to Tarbes on November 14, while other planes were transferred a few weeks later in November and December 2022, according to FlightAware.com data.