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Qantas Plans on Returning A330, A380 Aircraft to International Service

The First A380 for Australian Carrier QANTAS arrived at Sydney's International Airport on Sunday morning from Toulouse France. Staff and onlookers swarmed Sydney Airport for their first glimpse of the superjumbo.

With Australia projected to reopen their borders by the end of 2021, Qantas is preparing to bring their intercontinental aircraft back into service sooner than anticipated. The carrier will use a combination of Airbus A330 and A380 aircraft for flights between the island nation and the United States.

Qantas is making plans to resume international service between Australia and key international markets, with some flights operated by the iconic Airbus A380. The airline announced their plans to resume routes using a combination of airframes starting as soon as December 2021.

Qantas to Fly Airbus A330 and A380 Between Sydney and Los Angeles, San Francisco

Australia’s federal plan calls for international borders to reopen once 80 percent of the population is vaccinated against COVID-19. With the country on pace to hit that number by the end of the year, Qantas is planning for an influx of travelers from the United States and Great Britain.

A total of 10 Airbus A380 aircraft will return to the Qantas fleet with the upgraded cabin announced at the end of 2019. Five will get an accelerated restart by mid-2022, with the remaining airframes expected to go back into full service by 2024.

The first A380s will provide service to Sydney from two cities: Los Angeles and London. The flight between Los Angeles and Sydney will be a direct flight starting in July 2022, while the London service via Singapore will resume in November 2022. The airline believes the accelerated vaccination rate in the two international destinations will create sufficient demand for reduced quarantine travel.

In addition, the airline will operate some U.S. flights using the Airbus A330-200. The carrier is planning flights out of Brisbane Airport (BNE) to both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in the future. Qantas is working with Airbus to extend the range of the aircraft to accommodate the routes.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to happen, including training for our people and carefully bringing aircraft back into service,” Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said in a press release. “We’re also working to integrate the IATA Travel Pass into our systems to help our customers prove their vaccine status and cross borders.”

For those who currently hold travel vouchers with the airline, Qantas will extend them once again for use on future flights. For bookings made on or before September 30, 2021, the expiration date will be extended to December 31, 2023. The airline will also allow unlimited ‘fee free’ date changes through Dec. 31, 2022, for flights booked for travel before Feb. 28, 2022.

Qantas Widebody Plans Comes as Other Carriers Retire Large Aircraft

While Qantas is making a big bet on international travel recovery, other carriers are retiring some of their widebody aircraft in the name of cost cutting and fleet simplification. In April 2021, Etihad Airways and Japan Airlines both announced they would stop flying the Boeing 777 in favor of the composite-body Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

OZFLYER86 September 5, 2021

An A332 might just make it BNE/LAX with many seats empty or removed, but with head winds doubt if it will ever be able to do LAX/BNE nonstop. As with many DFW/BNE & DFW/SYD A380 flights, a stop for fuel in somewhere like Fiji or New Caledonia will be almost certain.

Freespirit1 September 4, 2021

That is something to look forward to

weero August 27, 2021

Great idea. Love these two birds.