Qantas A380 operates one-hour flight to rescue Swifties stranded due to storm

Ryan Fletcher /

Australian carrier Qantas deployed an Airbus A380 aircraft on a flight from Melbourne Airport (MEL) to Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport (SYD) after thunderstorms caused flight cancellations on February 23, 2024.

Four domestic flights to Sydney, filled mostly with Taylor Swift fans or “Swifties”, were canceled after Airservices Australia implemented restrictions on the volume of incoming and outgoing flights for all airlines in SYD airport due to a forecasted thunderstorm.

To accommodate all passengers in one flight, the airline brought out the superjumbo jet, normally used for long-haul international flights, to operate the one-hour domestic flight. 

The A380 carried 485 customers, the equivalent of almost three Boeing 737 flights which normally operate the MEL-SYD route.

“The A380 being used today is an operational spare that is on standby to ensure there is resilience in the Qantas operation. While this would normally be used to support our international network on flights to places like London and LA, given the incredibly high demand into Sydney today, it is being brought in to support the domestic operation,” the airline said in a statement.

QF7168 departed MEL Airport’s Terminal 2 at 17:00 and arrived at SYD Airport at 18:40 local time.

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