Sunday 31 October 2021

A380s to once again fly over Australia

Fans of Qantas’ A380 will soon see the aircraft return to the skies.

On October 22nd, QANTAS, the Australian flag carrier, announced that its flagship Airbus A380s will return to service sooner than previously expected, with the first superjumbos expected to return to regular passenger flights by April 2022.

The airline’s 12 A380s have been ‘parked’ at the Southern California Logistics Airport (VCV) in the Mojave Desert since June 2020.

Qantas originally expected the superjumbo aircraft to remain in storage until the end of 2023.

In August 2021, the airline announced that, from July 2022, five of the A380s would return with upgraded cabins to operate its Los Angeles and London flights.

Qantas has now accelerated the return of its A380s, bringing the date forward by three months, with two A380s to commence flights to Los Angeles from April 2022.

One aircraft could arrive by the end of this year to assist with crew training ahead of its return to service. Three A380s will return to service from mid-November 2022, with the remaining five expected to return by early 2024.

Qantas stated that it is also looking to bring forward delivery of three brand new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, currently in storage with Boeing, several months earlier than planned as demand increases.

“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.

The initial international flights are limited to Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate families and parents in line with Federal Government requirements.

Emirates, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has also announced that it will ramp up flights to Australia after the country reopens its borders for international travel. Most prominently, the airline’s flagship will fly once again on the Dubai (DXB)-Sydney (SYD) route starting from December 1. The Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, will take over the service from a Boeing 777-300ER and conduct daily flights, carrying up to 516 passengers between the cities. Additionally, Emirates is going to conduct bi-weekly service between Dubai (DXB) and Melbourne (MEL), and allow its aircraft to be filled to full capacity. Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates conducted regular passenger flights to Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), Brisbane (BNE) and Perth (PER), and a freighter service to Sydney.

All the destinations were served by the A380, and an additional flight between Sydney and New Zealand’s Christchurch (CHC) was conducted by Emirates.

The company stopped all A380 flights in March 2020, before slowly resuming operations in July 2020. It has been one of the few A380 operators to remain optimistic about superjumbo’s future, promising to restore 70% of the aircraft’s service by the end of 2021.

The number of Airbus A380 operators will increase by 66% in November, with two more carriers set to return the giant aircraft to the skies. British Airways and Singapore Airlines will initially launch short-haul flights with the giant for crew training purposes before switching to long-haul

The first of the two airlines to bring back the Airbus A380 will be Singapore Airlines. The Singapore flag carrier recently scrapped two retired A380s but will get half of its original fleet back in service over time. From Thursday, November 4th, Singapore Airlines will operate a daily rotation between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur according to schedule data from aviation experts Cirium.

The second is British Airways who will resume flights with the A380 the week after Singapore Airlines. The British Flag carrier is set to fly the giant of the skies from Monday, November 8th. The airline isn’t so set on jumping right back into long-haul. Instead, the airline will operate a daily Airbus A380 rotation from London Heathrow to Frankfurt and London Heathrow to Madrid.

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