Qantas plans to fast-track the return of its Airbus A380 operations, with the superjumbo set to resume commercial flights on 11 January 2022. That’s three months ahead of schedule, but long overdue after two years since the last Qantas A380 commercial flight.
The airline has said it is bringing back the A380 early to ease pressure on 70 of its Queensland-based 787 pilots who are required to isolate for 14 days following each international service. As this is not the case for other states, Qantas will reshuffle their international schedule to make use of the A380’s larger capacity.
In addition, Qantas will also reduce its Melbourne to London route from daily 787 flights to up to four weekly services, while Melbourne to Los Angeles will drop from four 787 flights per week to three.
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Just one A380 to return
VH-OQB will be the first A380 to re-enter service, with others to follow as demand increases. The aircraft was brought home to Sydney last month following storage in Germany. As of November, QQB was fitted with Qantas’ older generation seating, but the airline has said that all their returning A380s will have received a cabin refresh before they return to the skies.
While OQB’s return to glory is welcome, it’s also bittersweet. Qantas will send two of its A380s into early retirement, despite earlier reports that all 12 would return to service.
Direct to the City of Angels
The first A380 flight is now weeks away with Sydney to Los Angeles the route of choice. Qantas hopes to make up for their short-term reduction in flights with an increase in passenger loads per service, seeing the twin-deck superjumbo has more than double the number of seats compared to the 787.
The airline has reduced their Sydney to Los Angeles route from a daily 787 service to three A380 plus one 787 services per week. The first A380 flight will depart Sydney on January 11.
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