It's far from the worst problem for an airline to have, but Qantas will soon count an extra Airbus A380 in its fleet and is mulling exactly what to do with this spare superjumbo.
The airline will rejig the timetable for Qantas' daily Melbourne-London A380 flight in November this year, reducing the amount of time the A380 spends on the ground at Heathrow.
This will reduce from three to two the number of aircraft needed for this route, making that third A380 available to fly elsewhere on the Qantas network.
But where elsewhere?
"It could be on a new route, it could be on an existing one" Qantas International CEO Simon Hickey told The Financial Review. "We are evaluating our options at the moment."
Dallas/Fort Worth Airport CEO Sean Donohue told The Financial Review that "we would love to see Qantas bring the A380 in,” adding that "we have expressed our interest and we would do anything and everything to facilitate.”
DFW is upgrading one terminal with three extra aerobridges to load passengers on the double-decker jet, and Qantas partner Emirates is set to begin A380 flights between DFW and Dubai from October 1.
Qantas' superjumbo slate
Qantas currently runs a Boeing 747-400 on the daily Sydney-Dallas flight, but boosting even one day a week to an A380 would require a pair of superjumbos.
The Flying Kangaroo's current A380 roster includes its flagship Sydney-London and Melbourne-London routes plus daily flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles.
Qantas' only 'part time' A380 route is Sydney to Hong Kong, which was recently upgraded to see an A380 five days of the week (from Thursday to Monday) with a Boeing 747 on the remaining two days.
The airline currently has 12 Airbus A380s in its fleet with orders for eight more, but in February this year announced it would halt those outstanding orders "with an ongoing review of delivery dates to meet potential future requirements."
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