EXCLUSIVE | Qantas will reduce the number of Airbus A380 Melbourne-Los Angeles flights in early 2018 to just three superjumbo services each week in a move which will also trim availability of first class suites on the trans-Pacific route.
From February 12 to March 24 2018, Qantas will fly the A380 between Melbourne and LAX only three days each week, with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner picking up two days of the QF93/QF94 service.
This will run alongside the six-day-a-week schedule of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on QF95/QF96.
A Qantas spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that these changes are “to better match capacity with demand during the non-peak travel period”, with the Airbus A380 resuming daily Melbourne-LA flights from March 25 2018 – two days after Qantas axes its daily Melbourne-Dubai-London Airbus A380 flights in favour of the new non-stop Boeing 787 service between Perth and London.
While the superior business class of the Boeing 787 will be a win for travellers booked into the premium cabin, first class flyers booked onto the Melbourne-LAX superjumbo on those 'missing flights' will become collateral damage in the cuts.
Qantas says that passengers already booked in first class on the affected flights will be bumped back to business class and offered a refund of the fare difference between the two cabins, or a refund of the Qantas Points difference between business and first class if travelling on a reward booking.
Alternatively, they can change their date of travel at no charge to one of the days on which the A380 will be flying, or travel to Sydney on the date originally booked and take a first class berth on the daily Sydney-Los Angeles A380 service.
Qantas plans to re-assign the Airbus A380 to higher-demand routes during February and March. In previous years this has seen Hong Kong take up the superjumbo as a seasonal service.