Qatar Airways’ A380 soars back to Sydney on June 1

The Oneworld airlines’ superlative superjumbo, with its elegant upper deck lounge, makes a welcome return to Australia.

By David Flynn, March 22 2022
Qatar Airways’ A380 soars back to Sydney on June 1
Executive Traveller exclusive

Arguably one of the world’s best Airbus A380 experiences is on a triumphant flight path back to Sydney, with Qatar Airways circling June 1 for the superjumbo’s keenly-awaited return as Australians head north for the European summer.

The Airbus A380 will replace the smaller A350 which the Oneworld member has been using to connect the NSW capital to its hub at Doha – and while the double-decker jet lacks those private business class Qsuites, its previous-gen business class still ticks all the boxes for space and comfort with ample room for working, dining from the à la carte menu, relaxing, and at some point snoozing on the lie-flat bed.

Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 business class.
Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 business class.

There’s also a fresh first class option for Sydney flyers: the A380 is the only jet in Qatar’s international fleet with a first class cabin (at least until the Boeing 777X arrives), with eight spacious open suites.

Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 first class.
Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 first class.

But the highlight of any flight on the Qatar Airways A380 is a visit to the upper deck premium lounge, where business and first class flyers can relax and socialise while enjoying drinks and snacks from the bar menu, or even have simpler dishes from the business class menu – such as a cheese platter – delivered to them at the lounge.

Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 upper deck lounge.
Qatar Airways' Airbus A380 upper deck lounge.

And if this lounge is among the best places to be on Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380, then the counterpoint worst place to be is in the first row of economy, just beyond the lounge...

... where despite a thick richly-patterened curtain passengers would be tormented by the sounds of chatter and merriment, the popping of the odd Champagne cork and clinking of glasses... although perhaps this would provide the enticement they’d need to upgrade to business class on their next journey.)

Sydney loves the superjumbo

The A380 will slot into Qatar Airways’ daily Doha-Sydney service, with QR909 departing Sydney at 10pm to reach Doha’s Hamad International at 5am the next day, in time for the morning wave of connecting flights across Europe and the UK – although it’s also worth breaking your journey for a few days to discover the Qatari capital city.

Sydney is the first southern hemisphere destination to see Qatar Airways’ A380s since they made an unexpected return in November 2021, after airline CEO Akbar Al Baker reactivated four of the ten-strong superjumbo fleet as a stop-gap measure to help cope with increasing demand when many of its Airbus A350 jets were grounded over claims of fuselage degradation.

With much of Qatar's A350 fleet out of action, the superjumbo is soaring again.
With much of Qatar's A350 fleet out of action, the superjumbo is soaring again.

“We grounded the A380s at the beginning of the pandemic, and we never wanted to fly them again,” Al Baker told Executive Traveller at the time – well aware that only five months before he described his purchase of the superjumbos as “the biggest mistake” in the airline’s history, sledging the superjumbo’s thirst for fuel and environmental impact.

At the time of writing, the A380s are also connecting Doha with popular destinations London and Paris – although additional destinations in Europe and Asia are now being considered following Qatar’s decision to bring back an additional four superjumbos to cope with the increase in post-pandemic travel.

As a member of the Oneworld alliance, Qatar Airways flights can be booked using Qantas Points.

A one-way business class trip between Sydney and London on Qatar’s A380 costs 159,000 Qantas Points (plus taxes and surcharges) as a classic flight reward – slightly more than the 144,600 points needed for Qantas’ own Sydney-London A380 business class flights, which resume on June 19 via Singapore.

As previously reported, Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty program will this month adopt the same Avios frequent flyer currency as British Airways, while also allowing Avios to be transferred between BA and QRPC accounts.

Qatar Airways continues to fly to Melbourne, Brisbane (now on an all-year round schedule), Adelaide and Perth.

Additional reporting by Matt Lennon

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 323

Love QR A380 First  better than Etihad A380 First except for the shower!  A lot loike Lufthansa First  except you dont get a floor to ceiling locker lie you do on Lufti A380 First. Used to do it on the way to Tel Aviv from Adelaide (qantas Biz ADl-PER, QR Firs a380 t PER-DOH, Al Safwa First Lounge for 12 hours sleep and food  and  nicely empty MASSIVE First lounge and WALL-terfall with Islamic Art Displays, buggy to gate  then QR First (C actually) on 787  Doha to AMM Amman  then Royal Jordanian Biz on A321 for the 50 minute hop to Tel Aviv!  Bring it back as pre-covid ! Cant wait!!!!!!!! And only 110K American AAdvantage Points and about US$120 taxes - try than on Qantas!!! (270K Points and about 500 or 600 AUD taxes

QF LTG

29 Feb 2016

Total posts 26

It would be fantastic to get back into one of their A380s but when I looked at a return trip SYD/LHR there isnt F availability all the way back, at least with reasonable connection times. Going to UK its 24h duration which is fine, but coming back  the A380 to SYD leaves DOH 2 hrs before the A380 from LHR arrives. Other flts are 777 and 350s. So one will need to spend almost a day in Doha to travel by A380 all the way - duration is 41h, with 20h connection time..  Perhaps that sched will be adjusted as demand continues to return. 

12 Aug 2019

Total posts 11

On the subject of the A380...

I'm a frequent traveller to Asia (Singapore, Thailand typically).

Can anyone advise which airlines run an A380 there from Aus?  

Hanging out to give that bar/lounge a crack :)

mos
mos

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Dec 2014

Total posts 20

I was booked in QSuites business for a flight in June, but the B777 has now been swapped out for the A380. However, my seat assignment has not been changed, it is still row 1, which would now be a first class seat. When I look at the seat map in my booking, it only shows the business class cabin (from row 10), but still says my chosen seat is row 1 (even though I can't navigate to row 1 on the seat map). Does anyone know if they are seating business passengers in first seats when this happens, or will I find my seat re-assigned when I check in? Or perhaps they are not selling them as first class on the DOH-SYD A380?

23 Apr 2022

Total posts 1

When will Qatar airways a380 return to Melbourne?

01 Oct 2021

Total posts 12

I think around the same time. Qatar have re-activated 8 of 10 A380's currently flying to London, Paris and Bangkok. Once Sydney resumes then they will have 2 spare and I'm sure it will be used on Melbourne-Doha rather than to Perth Or Frankfurt (pre-pandemic). 


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