Qantas will operate its Airbus A380s into the 2030s

Qantas says that the Airbus A380s it has returned to service will be present for at least a decade
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Qantas will operate its fleet of 10 Airbus A380 aircraft for at least the upcoming decade, flying them at least until the 2030s, according to its chief executive. 

According to a report by FlightGlobal, Alan Joyce, the current CEO of Qantas, said the airline will keep the 10 aircraft for at least the next decade. All aircraft of the type will be operational by 2024, Joyce added, which is slightly earlier than previously expected.  

Qantas currently flies seven aircraft of the type, with one currently under maintenance and two stored at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), according to data. Qantas previously announced that the A380 currently in maintenance will join the carrier’s network by the end of the year, with the Australian airline significantly expanding its international network starting October 2023. 

Qantas also previously said that demand for maintenance for the Airbus A380s was delaying its plans to return the aircraft, with limited slots at Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) organizations “impacting return-to-service of remaining A380s through to early 2025”. 

The Australian carrier will also begin to look at which aircraft will replace its aging Airbus A330s, with the company’s chief financial officer (CFO) Vanessa Hudson telling FlightGlobal in a separate interview that Qantas will decide on which aircraft will replace the A330s by the end of 2023. 

Hudson will replace Joyce as the CEO of Qantas Group in November 2023. 

Qantas’ A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft seat up to 271 and 297 passengers in a two-class configuration, respectively, which means that both the Airbus A330neo and Boeing 787-8 are options to replace the aging jets.  

Since the carrier also operates 13 Boeing 787-9s, the lack of fleet commonality would not be an issue. In both cases, no new crews would have to be trained from the ground up, which would significantly reduce costs. 

Qantas has configured its ultra-long-haul 787-9s in a three-class layout, with 42 Business, 28 Premium Economy, and 166 Economy seats welcoming passengers on flights to such destinations as London-Heathrow Airport (LHR), Rome–Fiumicino International Airport (FCO), Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), and others. 

According to Airbus product information the A330-800neo typically seats between 220 and 260 passengers, while the A330-900neo can welcome between 260 and 300 passengers in a typical three-class configuration. 

Meanwhile, the Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 787-10 fit up to 248 and 336 passengers in a two-class layout, according to the manufacturer of the 787 aircraft family. 

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