Qantas reinstates A380 first class and Sydney-London via Singapore and Perth

As post-pandemic air travel continues to recover, Qantas is reinstating its full first class service on the A380. 

Qantas currently operates with three A380 aircraft, with a fourth set to leave the storage yard in California where it had been grounded for the past two years.

The airline used the two-year flying hiatus caused by the pandemic to upgrade the A380 aircraft by increasing the number of premium seats and refurbishing the cabins. 

The A380 aircraft have a reconfigured business class cabin, with 70 updated business suites, and an extended premium economy section with 60 seats, up from 35, as well as refreshed economy and First cabins.

The upper deck lounge has also received a full upgrade with booth style seating for 10 people, a self-service bar and an option to order drinks and snacks.

The airline will reopen its Sydney and Melbourne International Business Lounges as more passengers return. The airline also plans to revert its First Lounges in Australia, which operated as hybrid First/Business Lounges during the pandemic, to the full premium offering.

“We know that our customers have missed the Qantas A380 travel experience as much as our team has missed being able to provide it for them so it’s fantastic that we’re back in the air with our premium full service on these newly refurbished aircraft,” Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said in a statement.

To add to the good news, Qantas is also bringing back its iconic Kangaroo Route after more than two years. From June 2022, Qantas passengers flying to London from Sydney can now transit via Perth or Singapore.

When Qantas resumed its international operations in November 2021, it selected Darwin as the transit point on flights to London. The Australian flag carrier usually flies the route from Perth. However, Western Australia had one of the world’s strictest and longest restrictions, only opening its borders on March 3, 2022. 

On February 15, 2022, the airline had to extend its use of Darwin as a transit point to London due to ‘uncertainty’ over Western Australia’s border’s opening.

At the Qantas half year results press conference on February 24, 2022, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told local media that prior to Western Australia officially opening its borders on March 3, 2022, the WA government could not give the airline certainty that the borders will open by March 27, 2022, which is when Qantas’ first flights through Perth were scheduled to start again.

Joyce said at the time that the Kangaroo Route via Perth will restart in June 2022, after honoring its commitment with Darwin. Qantas confirmed the plans to AeroTime on March 14, 2022. 

“We’ve been very impressed with how cooperative they have been with the business to do it and we’ve made a commitment for it to stay there until [June],” Joyce said.

“…from the 19th [June], Perth-London starts and 22 June, Perth-Rome starts. So both of them will be operating from that period of time, so I think we’re fairly confident that that will work very well for us.”

Joyce also confirmed that the airline is bringing back the Sydney-Singapore-London route on the A380.

“The intent is to put the A380s on Sydney-Singapore-London, so we needed to have the maximum amount of capacity to make that work and we’re planning on the exact same time to start the 380s fully reconfigured. We’ll have three aircraft by then. We can start Sydney-Singapore-London daily and that’ll be pretty exciting for the passengers.”

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