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Qantas A380 to return earlier, along with Melbourne international departures

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The Australian flag carrier announced on October 22, 2021, that its flagship Airbus A380s will return to service sooner than expected, with the first superjumbos expected to fly regularly in April 2022.

Since June 2020, the airline’s 12 A380s have been ‘parked’ at the Southern California Logistics Airport (VCV) in the Mojave Desert, where Google Earth captured the fleet at rest.

The superjumbo plane was supposed to stay in storage until the end of 2023, according to Qantas.

The airline started in August 2021 that five A380s would return with improved cabins to run its Los Angeles and London services beginning in July 2022.

Qantas has now advanced the return of its A380s by three months, with two A380s scheduled to begin flights to Los Angeles in April 2022.

One of the planes could arrive before the end of the year to help with crew training in preparation for the plane’s reintroduction to service. Three A380s are scheduled to return to service in mid-November 2022, with the remaining five scheduled to return in early 2024.

Due to increased demand, Qantas plans to deliver three brand new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which are presently in storage with Boeing, several months sooner than expected.

“Our customers and crew love flying on our flagship A380s, so news that they will be back flying to Los Angeles again from April next year will be very welcome.

The Federal Government’s support to ensure our aircraft and people are ready to resume once borders reopen has been critical,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce in the statement.

Following the state of Victoria’s statement that it is formally lifting its lockdown after more than 70% of its population received a double dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine, the airline is also bringing forward international flights departing from Melbourne.

Qantas has released an amended schedule of foreign departures from Melbourne, which includes:

Melbourne to London flights have been brought forward to November 6, 2021, six weeks ahead of plan, with 787 aircraft running two days per week and daily flights beginning December 18, 2021.

Melbourne to Singapore: flights will begin three days a week on November 22, 2021, three weeks ahead of plan, utilizing A330 aircraft, and will increase to daily flights on December 18, 2021.

Jetstar will also resume four-times-week flights using 787 aircraft between Melbourne and Singapore.

Flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles will resume on December 18, 2021, with other destinations to follow later in the year.

In a statement, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said: “It’s great to see Melbourne reopening and the decision by the Victorian Government to remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers will make it easier for people to take the trips they’ve been longing to take. We’ve immediately brought forward our flights from Melbourne to Singapore and London in response.”

According to Federal Government regulations, the earliest overseas flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family and parents.

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