A new destination, an increase in flights to Los Angeles, and the return of the Airbus A380: Melbourne is set to become a busy city this year with Qantas’ plans for the Victorian capital as international travel continuously picks up.

Starting December 2, 2022, Australia’s flag carrier will launch a new direct route four times a week between Melbourne and Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) in Texas. The route will be operated by the airline’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. According to Qantas, these are the first direct flights by any airline between the two cities.

Qantas is also adding four-weekly return flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles with its 787s from the week of March 28-April 3, 2022.

And from December 2022, the airline’s refurbished A380s will resume operating some of these flights to Los Angeles, marking the return of Qantas’ superjumbo and the reintroduction of First Class to Melbourne.

Qantas said in a statement that the refurbished A380s will come with 70 updated suites, an extended Premium Economy section with 60 seats (up from 35) as well as refreshed Economy and First cabins. The upper deck lounge (open to Business and First passengers) has been expanded and upgraded with booth style seating for 10 people, a self-service bar and an option to order signature drinks and snacks. 30 Economy seats were removed to make room for more premium seating, the airline said.

“No city in the world did it tougher during COVID than Melbourne, but no city is bouncing back as quickly,” Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully said in a statement.

“We are seeing really strong demand from Melburnians wanting to travel overseas for a holiday or business trip after two years at home, while inbound tourism is starting to pick up. Flights to the United States are particularly strong with Los Angeles bookings now exceeding pre-COVID levels.”

Tully adds: “As well as being a destination in its own right, Dallas Fort Worth is one of the biggest hub airports in the United States and is located less than a four-hour flight from every major US city.”

“Our customers in Melbourne have told us they have really missed the Qantas A380, so it’s fantastic that they’ll be back flying by the end of the year with our full premium service on these newly refurbished aircraft.”

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 Starting mid- April 2022, travelers to Australia will no longer need to do a pre-departure COVID-19 test.