Qatar Airways brings its A380 back to Perth

You can’t keep a good superjumbo down, as Qatar Airways matches Emirates with a daily A380 upgrade.

By David Flynn, September 13 2022
Qatar Airways brings its A380 back to Perth
Executive Traveller exclusive

Qatar Airways is bring some premium polish back to Perth with the Airbus A380 – and its elegant inflight lounge and first class suites – making a return from December 6.

And while the A380 lacks the private Qsuites business class of the Boeing 777 it replaces as flights QR900/QR901, the superjumbo is certainly no slouch.

Business class on Qatar Airways' A380.
Business class on Qatar Airways' A380.

Its spacious and well-appointed flatbed business class seats still hold their own against most other airlines, as does the excellent in-flight dining…

Business class dining on Qatar Airways' A380.
Business class dining on Qatar Airways' A380.

… while the A380 adds the option of flying in Qatar's eight first class suites…

First class on Qatar Airways' A380.
First class on Qatar Airways' A380.

… and relaxing in the upper deck lounge with a drink, a meal and the company of fellow travellers.

Qatar Airways' A380 Premium Lounge.
Qatar Airways' A380 Premium Lounge.

A spokesperson for Qatar Airways tells Executive Traveller the changes from the Boeing 777 to the A380 is not a merely seasonal shift, with the aircraft being put in place “indefinitely for now.”

While Qatar Airways is a Oneworld member and thus a nominal Qantas partner, the Gulf carrier’s “strategic partnership” with Virgin Australia will also unlock the A380’s suites and seats for purchase using Velocity frequent flyer points.

(As an unexpected bonus, Velocity status credits earned on Qatar Airways flights even count towards the latest Virgin Gold status match for Qantas Gold frequent flyers.)

Qatar flights can now be booked using Velocity Points.
Qatar flights can now be booked using Velocity Points.

With Qantas having permanently closed its lounge at Perth Airport’s T1 international terminal, Qatar Airways now sends premium passengers and top-tier frequent flyers – such as its Gold and Platinum members of its own Privilege Club loyalty program, as well as their Qantas, Virgin Australia and Oneworld equivalents – to the Air New Zealand lounge, which is arguably Perth’s best international lounge, ahead of the late evening departure of QR901.

Air New Zealand's international Perth lounge.
Air New Zealand's international Perth lounge.

Rival Emirates is also rolling out its A380 between Perth and Dubai from November 1 on the back of increased demand.

The A380 is enjoying an unexpected new lease of life at Qatar Airways just one year after outspoken CEO Akbar Al Baker described the purchase of ten superjumbos as “the biggest mistake” in the airline's 27-year history.

While Al Baker intended to put the A380s out to pasture, they’ve been pressed back into service after almost half of Qatar’s workhorse Airbus A350 fleet – 21 jets out of 53 – was stood down over what the airline claims are critical ‘fuselage degradation’ issues.

And while the legal battle between Airbus and Qatar Airways continues to escalate, so does the number of people looking to fly once more – leaving Qatar Airways scrambling to meet capacity on its busiest routes, which is where the 517-seat superjumbos make their flex, with Perth now joining Sydney, London and Paris on Qatar’s A380 map.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 118

Great to see the 380’s back daily in Perth. With Masks and the like all gone it seems like the final piece of the puzzle.

S
S

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 115

I believe masks still need to be worn on Qatar flights unfortunately. 

I do wonder when the ME3 carriers will start to drop their mask mandates?

12 Oct 2018

Total posts 14

Not sure about A380s but ‘not required’ in QSuites back in June 😉

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1140

Any word if they plan on bringing the A380 back to MEL also?

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 17

Not sure. Qatar added a second daily 77W flight to Melbourne from October 1, so i doubt they would get the A380. Seems like Perth has now overtaken Melbourne in the tourism industry. These A380s were flying to Melbourne pre-pandemic but seems very unlikely now.

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 181

Actually the 380s were flying to Perth pre-Covid - I was booked on one of the flights.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

23 May 2013

Total posts 45

Doubt it after they announced using the Canberra connection to go double daily into MEL 

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 17

Exactly and Qatar have only 2 A380s left in storage, which will be used for the DOH-PER. London uses 2, Paris uses 1, Bangkok uses 2 and Sydney uses 2, (Perth will now use 2), 1 is used as spare (All 10 will be active by December). The only way for Melbourne to come in the mix is for Qatar to free up 1 A380 from either Heathrow/Bangkok or drop Bangkok entirely (Heathrow favours Bangkok) this seems unlikely.  

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 181

That’s great news. Hopefully their J prices will drop next year - currently they are well above everybody else, including the Qantas direct PER-LHR flight.

13 Sep 2022

Total posts 1

I'm surprised they are returning the A380 to PER before MEL. Although they are going double daily to MEL soon with B777s I believe, I am still surprised they aren't bringing their A380 back there. Also, any word on when their second daily flight to SYD will restart?

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 17

Sydney won't get a 2x daily flight because Melbourne is going to get it. The flight that goes to Canberra went via Sydney pre-pandemic but they have agreed to go via Melbourne instead. So Sydney/Perth 1x daily A380, while Melbourne will be 2x daily 77W. Makes sense.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 251

Flew Qatar into Perth just yesterday on the 777, every seat full with last few unsold filled by staff. I posted in community thread a week ago under QF - all flights I was seeing including SQ, EK and QF to PER are 90-100% full some even weeks in advance. Aside from tourism rebound Perth also has a massive resources sector which requires business travel to overseas contractors and offices.

Separately, I wonder if their CEOs comment about the A380 being the worst mistake has come back to bite him and just another dig at Airbus and EK. They really need them the A380 to LHR were completely full too when I flew. Since they aren't getting the A350s anymore, perhaps they can do with Malaysias 6 A380s up for sale..I'm sure that would be a good deal.

05 Jan 2018

Total posts 53

seems like the media drumbeat of the death of the A380 was greatly exaggerated! hoping EK keeps buying all the the factory can produce.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 461

More Business and First seats, but apparently reward seats are offered preferentially to Velocity members and not at all to Qantas FF members.  

30 May 2018

Total posts 32

I was upgraded from J to F on the DOH - CDG leg in May, presumably on basis of QF Gold status. 

03 Oct 2022

Total posts 1

I’m looking at the schedules as I have a reward booking on qr900 next June but it still shows as the 777. Even for new bookings past December it still shows the 777. Does anyone have any thoughts/insights on why this might not be showing?


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