Qantas CEO Alan Joyce expects A380 fleet to return in 3 years

G Tipene

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said he expected the airline’s grounded Airbus A380 fleet to return together with the global market recovery in about three years. Together with Boeing 787s, the aircraft would help the company to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.  

“In three years, when the market recovers, the A380s will be profitable,” Qantas Airways Chief Executive Alan Joyce commented during CAPA’s Australia Pacific Aviation Summit on September 2, 2020. “I believe these will fly again.” 

Interestingly, Alan Joyce’s prediction for the return of A380 directly contradicts the opinion of Tim Clark, The Emirates CEO, who famously said that the era for superjumbos was over.

“We know the A380 is over, the 747 is over but the A350 and the 787 will always have a place. They may not be ordered soon, they may have orders deferred and pushed back, but eventually, they will come back, and they will be a better fit probably for global demand in the years post the pandemic,” Emirates president Tim Clark said in an interview with the National back on May 5, 2020.

Joyce also believed that Qantas now-stored Boeing 787 Dreamliners would be the right aircraft when the global pandemic ceased. The 787-9s are known for their exceptional cruising range and a good cabin mix of Economy, Economy Plus and Business classes. This would allow the aircraft to operate long-haul international flights without stopovers. Amid the crisis, this would be a great advantage. 

In June 2020, Qantas Airways announced its “rightsize, restructure and recapitalize” plan, which included storing 100 aircraft for 12 months or longer. 

As of September 2020, most Australian national carriers’ Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 fleets are grounded in California’s desert. 

The decision to ground the aircraft followed a close to $2 billion financial loss the airline suffered in the quarter starting April 2020.

Qantas currently owns 12 Airbus A380 and ten Boeing 787-9 aircraft, out of which a single Dreamliner is presently in service.

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