Qantas brings back Airbus A380 first class to Hong Kong

By David Flynn, July 24 2018

Qantas will offer first class between Sydney and Hong Kong this summer, making the 14 suites on its seasonal Airbus A380 available to well-heeled high flyers who want to luxe it up on the 9½ hour journey.

The superjumbo will replace a Boeing 747 on the daily QF127/QF128 service from 1 December 2018 through to 28 March 2019.

While Qantas regularly rosters the Airbus A380 between Sydney and Hong Kong during the peak summer months to handle the higher holiday travel load, during those periods the superjumbo’s first class suites are usually treated as business class seats rather than being sold on a first class ticket.

This allows savvy Platinum and Platinum One travellers to upgrade their seat from business class to first class by choosing any spot in rows one through five on the advance seat selection screen, although of course they’re still served the same meals and drinks as their colleagues on the upper deck. 

However, in a show of confidence and facing sharpened competition on this popular route, Qantas will now sell first class as its own product – something the airline has not done for many years.

A spokesperson for Qantas told Australian Business Traveller that these primo passengers would enjoy a similar level of food, drinks and service as on the Airbus A380 first class cabins on the Sydney-Singapore-London and Melbourne-Singapore flights.

Sydney-Hong Kong return first class fares are currently showing on sale from $4,888, which is less than some of the airline's current A380 business class fares – making this a smart move, as long as you move fast.

If you do book first class on Qantas' Airbus A380, we suggest suites 1A and 1K for that ‘private jet’ feeling; 2F 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, but on the overnight return leg, light sleepers should avoid 5F.

Read our expert guide to the best seats in first class on the Qantas Airbus A380

While Cathay Pacific makes three of its four daily Sydney-Hong Kong flights on its Boeing 777-300ER flagships, the airline relies on a three-class version of the Boeing 777 which tops out at business class rather than the long-range models which include a small first class cabin of six open suites.

A spokesperson for Cathay Pacific told Australian Business Traveller that while the airlines "continually reviews our offering in the market based on customer needs and commercial requirements, currently we don't have any plans to introduce First Class from Australia to Hong Kong."

An estimated half-million passengers shuttle between Sydney and Hong Kong every year, with seven daily flights split between Qantas, Cathay Pacific and as of July 2018, Virgin Australia.

Also read: Sydney-Hong Kong business class – Cathay Pacific vs Qantas vs Virgin Australia

In related news, Qantas will also schedule its Boeing 787 Dreamliner onto flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Hong Kong in a staged rollout commencing 13 December, 2018.

Read more: Qantas begins Boeing 787 flights to Hong Kong

David
David

David Flynn

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.

Paul_in_melb

Paul_in_melb

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Jan 2017

Total posts 12

I like this idea!

THR

THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 56

Just managed to secure an award reservation on 1 January from HKG --> SYD. Looks like there is availability other days too.

PaulST

PaulST

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2014

Total posts 50

Great news, although I'm surprised that there's the demand. A mate (qf bronze) was able to select the first class seats with his business class ticket a few months ago and he said that there were a max of 3 other pax. He snagged 5A on both SYD-HKG and HKG-SYD flights.

andrew84

andrew84

08 Nov 2014

Total posts 20

awardwise

either someone's already jagged the 29/30/31 in both directions, or it actually stops 28 March.


also not showing on AA as award yet

THR

THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 56

I called AA to ticket it.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1117

Called it. ......

11sjw

11sjw

11 Mar 2012

Total posts 285

Just wish they'd give PER QF67&68 back!

S

S

13 Sep 2013

Total posts 104

Same here! Surely it’s gotta be on the cards soon

Stuart Roberts

Stuart Roberts

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 May 2016

Total posts 1

From the pics, it doesn't look much more than business class on Etihad or Singapore.

THR

THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 56

For 50,000 AA points, compared to 40,000 for business, it's still a pretty good deal.

petrhsr

petrhsr

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

Etihad is over. Finished. Kaput. Cut to the bone. Don't waste your money.

koji

koji

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

11 Jun 2018

Total posts 22

Tried to search availability of first class via ba and cx. Both showed first cabin is not available in qf128. Anyone tried via them or aa and succeed?

andrew84

andrew84

08 Nov 2014

Total posts 20

suggest you check again - loaded in at least 1 of those 3 systems right now.

flychrisfly

flychrisfly

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2011

Total posts 75

Hi David, just a comment on the use of “summer” in the article. I know the dates are explained later in the article but Australian summer and HK summer are at different times of year so it adds a level of confusion.

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2322

Hi Chris: yes, however as Australian Business Traveller is primarily for an Australian audience we use Australian seasonal references (if we ever refer to a northern hemisphere season we identify it along the lines of "northern winter" etc).

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