The status of the Airbus A380 aircraft has been questioned ever since the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the international travel market. However, Qantas CEO remains confident that the world’s largest passenger aircraft will return to the skies, once the international air travel recovers.
“We think we will reactivate all of the A380s. We spent a lot of money on them,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said while speaking during CAPA live on April 14, 2021. “Once demand is there, they are going to be good aircraft.”
Qantas CEO feels positive about the future viability of the Super Jumbo, as the COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States and the United Kingdom, both major markets for Qantas, began to accelerate.
“Now if international demand comes back earlier than expected, A380s can be reactivated in three to six months,” Joyce explained, adding that while current demand is low, the airline copes with smaller and more fuel-efficient Boeing 787s instead of A380s.
However, hopes of rapid international air travel recovery were shadowed when Qantas boss said that the international demand is unlikely to reach pre-pandemic levels “until 2024”, despite his plan to reboot all Qantas international operations from October 2021.
Currently, the airline has a total of 12 Airbus A380 aircraft, which are parked at Victorville Southern California Airport (VCV), the United States, according to the Planespotters.net data. The Australian airline grounded the aircraft in June 2021, saying that A380s would be of no use at least for three years.