Sydney-Hong Kong sees Qantas A380 return for summer 2023-2024
The superjumbo and its first class suites will once again be a regular visitor to the Asian metropolis.
Executive Traveller exclusive
Qantas is bringing its Airbus A380 back onto the Sydney-Hong Kong route from October 2023 through to March 2024 in a sign of continued demand for travel to the Asian metropolis.
The superjumbo is currently seen sporadically on the 9+ hour route, but will be withdrawn and replaced by an Airbus A330 in early June ahead of the June 20 restart of Melbourne-Hong Kong flights.
(Those flights will also see the newly-reopened Qantas Hong Kong Lounge extend its hours in line with QF30’s 10pm departure for Melbourne.)
However, in a familiar pattern from pre-pandemic years, the Sydney-Hong Kong superjumbo will return as Qantas gears up for the peak travel season spanning from Australian summer through to Chinese New Year and beyond.
The Qantas A380 bounces back as flights QF127/QF1287 from Sunday October 29 on most days of the week (except many Mondays and Wednesdays, when an A330 steps in) through to the end of December.
Then it’s a daily A380 from January 1 all the way through to March 3, 2024.
At the time of writing, this will again be an A380 in its original ‘classic' configuration – unlike its upgraded siblings – with Skybed business class berths in a 2-2-2 layout.
But some of those business class passengers will find themselves enjoying the more spacious surrounds of the A380’s 14 first class suites, albeit without first class meals and drinks.
Your free Qantas A380 first class upgrade
Rather than set up a full first class service on the Sydney-Hong Kong route for the 18-odd weeks during which the A380 is flying, Qantas will allow top-tier frequent flyers in business class to select a first class suite at the pointy end of the plane.
They'll have the same meals, wine and service as anyone else in business class, but it’s all done in a far more comfortable environment.
Executive Traveller understands that savvy Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers, along with Chairman’s Lounge members, will be able to upgrade themselves from business class seat to a first class suite on their booking’s seat selection screen.
The A380’s first class cabin should appear when choosing their seat – by clicking anywhere between row 1 and row 5, they’ll land in one of the 14 first class suites.
Any suites remaining unoccupied in the days prior to the flight can be assigned by Qantas to selected frequent flyers, or they may even appear on the business class seating chart if you use the Manage My Booking page to check or change your seat.
(You can even ask at the check-in desk or the lounge if there’s a vacant suite still up for grabs, or use the Qantas T-80 tactic as your departure date nears. On the day of the flight, Qantas plans to offer unallocated First seats to top-tier frequent flyers.)
We suggest suites 1A and 1K for that ‘private jet’ feeling; 2F – also known as the Harry Potter suite – if you want a cosy nest; and 5A and 5K for maximum privacy.
For the best view on the daytime flight to Hong Kong, opt for 4A and 4K, while on the overnight return leg, light sleepers should avoid 5F.
However, Qantas will be selling premium economy on the Hong Kong-bound A380s – and again, these will be the original premium economy recliners, not the latest A380 premium economy seats.
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