Air France will return a first Airbus A380 to its lessor in February.

Air France will return a first Airbus A380 to its lessor in February.

The aircraft (F-HPJB) is currently being repainted in Malta in preparation for being handed back to lessor Dr Peters, says Air France. But the carrier adds that the aircraft will briefly return to service after painting and operate a last commercial flight on 1 January.

Dr Peters says it is scheduled to receive a second A380 from Air France in 2020. The German lessor’s DS Aviation fund has leased a total five A380s to the French flag carrier.

The remaining three aircraft’s leases expire in mid-2021, mid-2022 and mid-2024, Dr Peters says.

Air France has 10 A380s and disclosed earlier this year that all of them would be retired by 2022.

The Engine Alliance GP7200-powered aircraft were built between 2009 and 2014, Cirium fleets data shows. Three of them are owned by Air France.

Dr Peters says it is in “close contact” with Air France and Airbus and is considering “all possible options” for placing the aircraft in the market. “We focus on delivering the highest value for our investors,” says the lessor.

Singapore Airlines in 2017 decommissioned the first of five A380s on which it had decided not to extend leases. Four of the aircraft were leased from Dr Peters.

One of these aircraft has been placed with Portuguese wet-lease carrier Hi Fly, which indicated interest in potentially taking further A380s. But thus far, no other second-hand A380 deal has been disclosed.

Earlier this month, Tarmac Aerosave revealed that it had completed its first dismantling of an ex-Singapore Airlines A380.