Qantas will resume limited Airbus A380 flights to Los Angeles from Sunday January 16th.
The return of the trans-Pacific superjumbo will begin with the Melbourne-Los Angles QF93 service and will be followed by the Sydney-Los Angeles QF11/QF12 flights.
However, not every flight to and from LAX will be on the A380, as the superjumbo will follow a restricted schedule.
For example: although the QF11 SYD-LAX service runs five days a week, Qantas says only four of those flights will use the Airbus A380. The remaining flight (and as yet we don't know which of the five days this will be) will rely on a Boeing 747-400, which has filled in for the superjumbo since the airline grounded its entire A380 fleet on November 4th last year.
Qantas says that from next week its A380 schedule will include the daily QF31/QF32 (Sydney-Singapore-London and back), plus three services per week for Melbourne to London (via Singapore) on QF9 and QF10 return leg.
"From February onwards, A380 frequencies on London and Los Angeles routes will be steadily increased as aircraft return to service and new deliveries join the fleet" an airline spokesperson said.
Qantas says that following "extensive engineering analysis and close consultation with Rolls-Royce, Airbus and the European and Australian regulators", the airline is now satisfied the A380 flights out of Los Angeles can operate at the maximum thrust provided by the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.
“In close consultation with Rolls-Royce, we are now confident that we can begin flying the A380 to and from Los Angeles without any conditions on the use of maximum engine thrust" said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. "In the meantime, our A380 engine inspection process continues as we gradually restore the aircraft to our international network.”
Qantas could return the Airbus A380 to the Sydney-Los Angeles route from Tuesday January 18, 2011, according to flight schedules lodged with industry-wide ticketing systems.
While the Qantas has yet to make an official statement, authoritative web site Airline Route – which reports flight schedule data shared by airlines with the ticket sales industry – has noted the schedule changes made by Qantas.
According to the updates, the A380 will run between Sydney and Los Angeles on alternate days through to the end of January – so every second QF11 and QF12 will be operated by a Boeing 747-400.
The daily A380 service appears back on the books from February 1, with the superjumbo's four-times-a-week Melbourne-Los Angeles service (QF93 and QF94) recommencing on February 3.
Qantas is still working with its A380 engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce to overcome what the airline describes as "operational restrictions" which have kept the superjumbo off the transpacific route, and is expected to make an official statement next week on resumption of the A380 between Australia and the US.
The high-revenue Australia to Los Angeles routes have been without the A380 for over one month, following Qantas' decision to ground the entire fleet after the dramatic explosion of a Rolls-Royce engine on an Airbus A380 flight from Singapore to Sydney on November 4.
Airline Route also reports the Qantas forward schedule as showing the twice-daily services between Sydney and Hong Kong will revert from the current temporary Airbus A330 to the standard Boeing 747-400 as of January 2, 2011.
This is seen as a sign that Qantas is getting its schedule back to normal as it takes delivery of new Airbus A380s with modified Rolls-Royce engines, while Rolls-Royce also carries out engine refit and repair work to Qantas' existing aircraft.
Singapore Airlines, which also uses the troubled Rolls-Royce Trent 900 powerplant on its A380s, is putting its superjumbos back into the skies between Sydney and Singapore from Friday December 10.