The Qantas A380 will fly again on January 11, 2022, three months ahead of schedule and two years after its last commercial trip.
The airline said that it would reintroduce the superjumbo, VH-OQB, to replace 787-9 international flights currently impacted by Queensland’s 14-day aircrew isolation requirement.
It’s a remarkable comeback for the plane, which many had anticipated would be phased out by the flag carrier due to COVID.
Qantas said it returned the A380 early because 70 of its 787 pilots are stationed in Queensland and must spend 14 days in isolation after each overseas flight, limiting their availability to fly.
Other states are not in this situation, thus the company will use the A380’s increased capacity to alter its schedule.
- From the 10th of January, Sydney-Los Angeles flights were cut from a daily 787 to three weekly A380 flights and one weekly 787 flight. On January 11, the inaugural A380 flight will take off.
- The daily 787 service between Melbourne and London has been reduced to up to four weekly services.
- The number of weekly 787 services between Melbourne and Los Angeles has been cut from four to three.
The Queensland government plans to ease restrictions on overseas travel once 90% of the state has been double-vaccinated, which isn’t expected until late January.