Qantas' Kangaroo Route from Sydney to London will once again feature the Airbus A380 as of October 30, 2022.
This will be the second destination for the red-tailed superjumbo after it takes wing on the Sydney-Los Angeles route in late March 2022, and comes as the double-decker jets returned from hibernation in California's Mojave Desert several years earlier than Qantas expected.
The airline's initial projections were that demand for international travel wouldn't reach the pre-pandemic levels needed to fill the 485-seat airliner until 2023-2024.
However, a surge of bookings as Australia's borders reopen without quarantine for fully-vaccinated flyers provided a shot in the arm for the superjumbo's prospects.
And in common with all of the returning red-tailed A380s, this one has been upgraded with the latest business class and premium economy seats, along with two new 'premium lounges' at the front of the upper deck and refreshed first class suites.
Qantas plans to have five A380s flying again by October, with five more expected to return to service by early 2024 – although the airline says two of the 12-strong superjumbo fleet will be retired "because they will be surplus to requirements."
However, Executive Traveller understands that the A380's October 30 restart for London could potentially be brought forward, depending on continued levels of demand to and from the UK.
Qantas recommenced its flagship Sydney-London QF1 service on November 1, with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner standing in for the A380 – and with a stopover at Darwin instead of Singapore until late March 2022.
The airline plans to reopen its Singapore Business Lounge in "early December" to cater for Sydney and Melbourne 'VTL' flights, with the Qantas First Lounge expected to follow in early 2022.