Qantas A380 to return earlier, along with Melbourne international departures

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

On October 22, 2021, 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, where Google Earth was able to capture the fleet at rest. 

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 carrier is also bringing forward international flights departing from Melbourne following the state of Victoria’s announcement that it is officially ending its lockdown after more than 70% of its residents have received a double dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Qantas published its updated Melbourne international departures schedule, which includes:

Melbourne to London: brought forward to November 6, 2021, six weeks earlier than scheduled, operating two days per week with 787 aircraft and ramping up to daily flights from December 18, 2021.

Melbourne to Singapore: brought forward to November 22, 2021, three weeks ahead of schedule, operating three days per week with A330 aircraft and ramping up to daily flights from December 18, 2021. Jetstar will also recommence flying four times a week between Melbourne and Singapore using 787 aircraft.

Flights from Melbourne to Los Angeles will restart from December 18, 2021 with other destinations scheduled to recommence in the new year.

In a statement, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said:“It’s great to see Melbourne reopening and the decision by the Victorian Government to remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers will make it easier for people to take the trips they’ve been longing to take. We’ve immediately brought forward our flights from Melbourne to Singapore and London in response.”

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


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