Qantas Airbus A380s will fly again as of July 1, 2022

The Qantas superjumbos are set to spring back in style on the Sydney-Los Angeles route.

By David Flynn, September 6 2021
Qantas Airbus A380s will fly again as of July 1, 2022

Almost two years to the day that Qantas sent its first Airbus A380 into hibernation, on July 6 2020, the red-tailed superjumbo will return to the skies.

While the planned December 2021 restart of the airline's international network sees the flagship routes to London and Los Angeles dominated by the Boeing 787, Friday July 1 2022 shows the Airbus A380 back on the schedule for the Sydney-LAX QF11/QF12 service.

The superjumbo is initially listed for six days a week, with a Boeing 787 slotting in on Wednesdays; Melbourne-Los Angeles remains a Boeing 787-9 route, while Brisbane-Los Angeles will feature a long-range version of the Airbus A330 previously seen on domestic east-west flights as well as jaunts to Asia.

Qantas initially forecast its A380s would remain in mothballs down until at least 2023, but a handful are coming back early to cater for an expected surge in bookings based on high vaccination rates and pent-up demand for travel.

Return to glory: the Qantas Airbus A380 will swap California's Victorville 'boneyard' for LAX.
Return to glory: the Qantas Airbus A380 will swap California's Victorville 'boneyard' for LAX.

The Qantas Boeing 787-9s have 236 seats, including 42 in business class and 28 in premium economy, but the double-decker A380s more than double that seat count to 485 – including 70 in business class and 60 premium economy, along with 14 first class suites.

In addition, all of the returning A380s will have been upgraded with the latest business class and premium economy seats – using the same designs as the Dreamliners – along with two 'premium lounges' on the upper deck and a refresh of the first class suites.

Six of the Qantas superjumbos have been refreshed with new business class suites and upper deck lounges areas.
Six of the Qantas superjumbos have been refreshed with new business class suites and upper deck lounges areas.

The Sydney-LAX superjumbos will be followed by the upgrading of Sydney-Singapore-London to an A380 in November 2022.

"These were key markets for Qantas before Covid and given how well they have recovered, we expect travel demand on these routes to be strong enough for the A380" Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce noted last month.

Qantas will also reopen its lounge at Los Angeles, Singapore and London – although as Executive Traveller exclusively reported last month, Qantas will permanently close its popular Hong Kong lounge.

Five more A380s are due to return to service by early 2024, "with timing dependent on how quickly the market recovers."

However, two of the 12-strong superjumbo fleet will be retired "because they will be surplus to requirements."

Qantas says all passengers on its overseas flights will need to be fully vaccinated; the airline will introduce a Travel Pass smartphone app to not only confirm vaccination status but also store and show the results of pre-departure Covid tests, which are likely to be a requirement of entry to many countries.

Also read: Qantas considering 'Points Planes' flights for Singapore, London, USA

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 97

I wonder if Qantas was to contact all its Frequent Flyers, to elicit a response whether they might be interested in a return ticket on the Melbourne / LA route earlier than the stated date, what the response might be. My hand is UP!

01 Jul 2021

Total posts 9

does anyone know when the A380 is scheduled to return on the Melbourne to Los Angeles route?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1368

I’m not sure scheduled is the right word but I would expect sometime in 2023.

05 May 2016

Total posts 631

I would like the A380 to return to the Melbourne to London route. Though with some A380 planes being retired it would seem there's zero chance of that happening.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1368

There are only two being retired which would be those covering Dallas and Asia, so Melbourne London could still be on the cards to supplement the via Perth 787.

25 Feb 2021

Total posts 2

As much as I, like so many other Australians, cannot wait to see international travel open up and for the flying kangaroo to be flying again, I have to say that I'll believe all of this when I see the A380 at the gate, ready to start boarding passengers. However, given how keen Qantas has been in pressing the Government to open up the international border as well as end lockdowns between the states, in order to start recovering from COVID, I'm hoping that Qantas will lead the pack when other international airlines resume flying to and from Australia again....

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 502

I thought United, Delta and American Airlines already were flying LA-SYD, so it's great QF will join that particular pack, even better that it'll be from July 22.  Dare I say it, but . . . kudos to Qantas.

I booked Syd to Lax for 1 July 2022 x 2 Pax J  3 weeks ago at that time it was a 787-9,  this changed last week to a A380.

I wonder what fanfare Qantas will put on for that day, I anticipated that 1 July would have some significance.

Looking forward to it 

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 623

I have a feeling the A380 may serve QF2 to LHR way sooner than Nov 22. I can't see demand for LAX any greater than for LHR.

QantasFF

16 Nov 2012

Total posts 60

We're all getting excited but I never see any discussion of when or whether travel insurance will become available. Without that, most of us won't be going anywhere.

05 May 2016

Total posts 631

Some countries (not the US unfortunately) have reciprocal agreements with us, so using public hospitals in those countries should be possible.

If you are fully vaccinated you are not likely to need hospitalisation if you catch COVID-19 so the risk of a hospital stay due to COVID-19 would be low.

I would have travelled last year to the UK without vaccination so when the borders begin to reopen and I'm fully vaccinated I'll definitely be prepared to go.

I'll still try and get travel insurance and regardless for me it's worth the risk. Living in fear of what may go wrong indefinitely is not living at all.

With regard to Travel Insurance I booked Dec 20/19 for a July 2020 Round The World Business itinerary with Qantas as the first leg & 3 other airlines ( Lufthansa/ Swiss & Singapore Airlines).

Since then I have rebooked a further 3 times each itinerary was eventually cancelled as the  Qantas flights never eventuated ( payment was kept in credit) with the 4th booking for July 2022 so I am pretty confident this will finally  proceed.

With the second attempted re booking  I was charged an additional $700 by Lufthansa ( who ticketed the original itinerary) so I claimed the fare difference with NAB Platinum Insurance who eventually paid me less the excess.

So I have paid for a RTW Itinerary Dec 2019 which will eventually proceed July 2022 fingers crossed.

Travel Insurance from the original Dec 2019 payment will still apply as I have not left Australia yet.

25 Jun 2018

Total posts 10

A Travel Pass smartphone app. is mentioned as being a requirement.  What about those of us that don’t use mobile phones.   My paper one from the Australian government?

QantasFF

16 Nov 2012

Total posts 60

I certainly use a mobile but I try to avoid global roaming charges - will our vaccine passports be off-line?


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