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 believes that the world’s largest passenger aircraft will return to the skies, once international air travel recovers. Australian flag-carrier reportedly plans to return six Super Jumbos by 2023.
“If they [Airbus A380s – ed.note] do come back in when we expect them, at the end of 2023, we’ll activate the first six aircraft very rapidly because we’ll have the pilots to do it,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told Executive Traveller on May 20, 2021.
Currently, Qantas has a total of 12 Airbus A380 aircraft in its fleet, as per planespotters.net data. Due to travel restrictions, all of the airline’s double-deckers are parked in Victorville Southern California Logistics (LCV) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), United States. The Australian airline grounded the aircraft in June 2020, saying that A380s would be of no use for at least three years.
Earlier in April 2021, Joyce said that the airline hoped to have all of the A380s reactivated once international travel demand returned. However, hopes to reactivate all of its Super Jumbos might be dimmed, as Qantas has revised its international travel restart from October 2021 to December 2021.
“We think we will reactivate all of the A380s. We spent a lot of money on them,” Joyce revealed during CAPA live on April 14, 2021. “Once demand is there, they are going to be good aircraft.”