Qantas Airways’ first Airbus A380 to come out of storage is on its way to Sydney, ahead of restarting service to Los Angeles in 2022.
The Australian carrier announced on November 8, 2021 that VH-OQB had left Dresden in Germany, where it had been undergoing cabin refurbishment. It had flown to Dresden in August 2021 for the work after being in storage in Los Angeles since March 27, 2020.
VH-OQB now on its way to Sydney. The A380 was stored in Los Angeles on 27 March 2020. In August 2021 it flew to Dresden for cabin refurbishment. And now, it will be the first @Qantas A380 returning to Australia. https://t.co/yNzPww8q2b pic.twitter.com/iSHLdoIr7k— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) November 8, 2021
Qantas has brought forward the reactivation of some of its A380s after Australian borders opened sooner than expected, boosting demand for flights.
Now, two A380s will resume flights to Los Angeles (LAX) from April 1, 2022, with a further three A380s to return to service by November 2022.
Qantas has been storing its fleet of 12 superjumbos in the Mojave Desert and had initially expected them to remain there until 2023.
Although some A380s are coming back sooner than expected, only 10 are due to return to service, leaving two A380s permanently retired.
Qantas is not the only carrier bringing back its A380s out of retirement as travel demand picks up.
British Airways has also started short-haul flights with its first A380 on November 8, 2021, part of familiarisation training for its crews ahead of their return to long-haul service on routes to the United States and Dubai.
Qatar Airways also confirmed on November 5, 2021 that it is bringing five of its A380s out of storage, although they will not be rejoining the fleet permanently.