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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Qantas A380 Back On Schedule From July 1st

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Qantas is keeping its pledge to restore a portion of its Airbus A380 fleet to the skies by mid-2022, with the superjumbo already back on the schedule for its Sydney-Los Angeles operations beginning 1 July next year.

While the airline had stated that its A380 fleet will remain in storage until 2023, Qantas announced last month during its financial results that it would return five jets to service “ahead of schedule” in mid-2022.

The five A380s will be used to fly between Sydney and Los Angeles beginning in July 2022, and between Sydney and London beginning in November 2022, through Singapore.

According to Executive Traveller, Qantas has stuck to this vow and has reintroduced its A380s to the daily schedule for its Sydney to LAX return route as QF11 and QF12.

It will be the first time a Qantas A380 has flown passengers since the entire fleet was retired in July 2020.

From July 1, the four-engine plane will fly the QF11 and QF12 routes six days a week, with the smaller Boeing 787 Dreamliner covering the route on Wednesdays.

Qantas anticipates 10 of its 12 A380s to resume regular scheduled service by early 2024, while the remaining two will be retired.

It signals the beginning of the end of Qantas’ iconic A380 fleet, after the announced conclusion of the Airbus A380 program, as Airbus prepares to deliver its final A380 to Emirates.

Prior to their return to service, all ten returning A380s will have their interiors restored.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has consistently stated that the Qantas model positions it as one of the few airlines in the world capable of successfully sustaining the Airbus A380 post-COVID.

Joyce told CNN that “pent up demand” for international travel in Australia, along with restricted available slots at London Heathrow and Los Angeles International Airports, means Qantas can reasonably fill its A380s and make the venture successful.

“When we reviewed the research… The desire to travel once borders open and it is safe to do so is enormous. “It’s three times higher than it is in Australia,” Joyce explained.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand to see friends or family and take that vacation.”

Joyce stated that the A380 is the “ideal vehicle” to meet Australia’s impending spike in international travel demand.

“When we look at Australia, we have limited slots at Heathrow, and the A380, given to its size, helps us meet demand at Heathrow. And the same goes for Los Angeles,” he continued.

“There is a scheduling window; all of our planes leave LA between 10:00 and midnight due to the Sydney curfew… So, because you can’t actually add frequency, you might as well have a large plane that works.”

In light of the news that Qantas will retire two of its iconic A380s, Australian Aviation looks back on the history of the airline’s A380 fleet and invites readers to predict which superjumbos will be grounded for good.

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