Oldest Qantas A380 returns to service after being in storage for over a year

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Qantas’ oldest Airbus A380 aircraft is back in service after being in storage for 17 months. 

The 16.2 year old aircraft, with registration VH-OQA, first underwent maintenance in California before being stored in Abu Dhabi. 

The aircraft landed back in Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD) on April 6, 2024 after a 13-hour flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

Shortly after arriving, the aircraft was immediately deployed on its first long-haul flight, QF 11 from SYD Airport to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). 

Qantas took delivery of the aircraft on September 19, 2008. The aircraft was named “Nancy Bird Walton” after the pioneering Australian aviator who helped set up the Royal Flying Doctor Service and trained women pilots during the Second World War. 

On November 4, 2010, the aircraft was involved in one of Australian aviation’s remarkable safety incidents when one of its four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines exploded shortly after it took off, causing a major fire. The incident occurred on flight QF 32, a London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) to SYD Airport flight via Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). The engine fire took place four minutes after take off from Singapore. The aircraft was able to safely land back in Singapore with all 469 passengers and crew safe and uninjured.

Qantas has a total of 10 A380s in its fleet, with six currently in active service.

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