Qantas Bringing Back Airbus A380 In March 2022

Qantas Bringing Back Airbus A380 In March 2022

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As noted by Executive Traveller, Qantas will be bringing back the Airbus A380 in the coming months, and with that, the airline will also reintroduce first class.

While the pandemic has largely been terrible news for the A380, there has been some good news lately, as we’ve learned that British Airways, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines, will all bring back the A380 in the coming weeks.

Qantas A380 to fly to LAX as of March 2022

Qantas has scheduled a return of the Airbus A380 between Sydney and Los Angeles as of March 27, 2022. The Airbus A380 is expected to operate the flight daily, with the following schedule:

QF11 Sydney to Los Angeles departing 10:15AM arriving 6:00AM
QF12 Los Angeles to Sydney departing 9:55PM arriving 6:55AM (+2 days)

The roughly 7,500 mile flight is blocked at 13hr45min eastbound and 15hr westbound. As you can see, this rotation alone will require two A380s.

The decision to bring back the A380 comes as Qantas is seeing a steep increase in bookings on transpacific flights, as the country has outlined plans to reopen. Australia plans to allow vaccinated residents to leave the country as of November 2021, and several states are expected to eliminate the quarantine requirement upon returning home.

We still don’t officially know when Australia will open to vaccinated foreigners, but I’d imagine that won’t be far behind.

Qantas will be bringing back the A380 in early 2022

When will other Airbus A380s return to service?

Qantas originally had a fleet of 12 Airbus A380s, so what’s the plan as of now for the rest of the planes returning to service?

  • Three more A380s are expected to return as of November 2022, operating flights to London via Singapore
  • Five more A380s are expected to return by early 2024
  • Two of the 12 Airbus A380s will be retired

All of these schedules remain subject to change. I suspect the March 2022 launch of the A380 to Los Angeles is pretty realistic, assuming Australia’s current reopening plan moves forward. When we’re talking about later 2022, or even 2024, I think those plans are much fuzzier as of now.

Qantas also bringing back first class & refreshed cabins

As Qantas Airbus A380s return to service, they should also feature fully refreshed cabins. This includes a light refresh to first class seats, including updated entertainment screens and new fabrics.

Qantas’ A380 first class

This also includes staggered Vantage XL seats in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration (similar to Qantas’ 787 business class), compared to the previous 2-2-2 configuration.

Qantas’ A380 business class

There’s also an all new onboard lounge for business class passengers.

Qantas’ A380 onboard lounge

The premium economy cabin is also much larger than before, and has been refreshed. It’s located at the back of the upper deck.

Qantas’ A380 premium economy

It’s specifically worth pointing out that the A380 is the only plane in Qantas’ fleet to feature first class, so the reintroduction of the A380 also spells the return of first class. While Qantas’ first class product is reasonably good, it doesn’t rank on my list of the top first class products in the world.

Qantas does have excellent first class lounges which are opening well ahead of the A380 returning to service. That’s because oneworld Emerald members also get access to these lounges.

Qantas’ First Lounge Sydney

Bottom line

Qantas plans to resume Airbus A380 flights as of March 2022, with the plane initially scheduled to fly daily between Sydney and Los Angeles. We can then expect three more A380s to return to service by November 2022, with a further five returning by early 2024 (though frankly I think it’ll be sooner than that).

All of this comes as Australia is preparing to once again allow vaccinated citizens to leave the country, and at least some states don’t plan on requiring a quarantine upon returning back home. Now Australia just needs to open to visitors as well.

I’m thrilled to see this news, and hopefully some of the former A380 pilots can go back to flying planes rather than driving buses.

What do you make of Qantas bringing back the A380?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Jeff McKenzie Guest

    I have just booked Bris-London for July 2022. Bris-Perth on 737, then direct Perth-London on 787. However, Qantas has announced they will not be using Perth ATM due to border closures, instead opting to fly this service out of Darwin. Indeed, yesterday's news featured the first 787 refuelling in Darwin prior to departing for London. Looking at Qantas website, if you book Bris-LNR you will be directed to the Perth service, with no mention of...

    I have just booked Bris-London for July 2022. Bris-Perth on 737, then direct Perth-London on 787. However, Qantas has announced they will not be using Perth ATM due to border closures, instead opting to fly this service out of Darwin. Indeed, yesterday's news featured the first 787 refuelling in Darwin prior to departing for London. Looking at Qantas website, if you book Bris-LNR you will be directed to the Perth service, with no mention of Darwin. I guess time will tell, by next July I would expect Qantas to be using Perth again.

  2. Paul Lee Guest

    I am personally happy to have found this out!! I really am impressed at the specs and even the flying speed!!! I love these big kings of the high skies!! These will do around 650 mph!!!, As their cruising speed

  3. Elijah Guest

    I feel this will be short lived and international border will be slammed shut again. New variant of concern now in the UK with deaths and hospitalisations increasing every day. Cases are imploding in Singapore and rest of Europe. I have a sense of dread about all of this. Btw Hotel Quarantine in Melbourne is not going anywhere folks and a new hub opens in January.

    1. James Guest

      Coming out of the pandemic is undoubtedly going to be bumpy but Delta Plus in the UK is not (yet at least) a ‘variant of concern’ nor is it thought to make people any more ill. But it *could* be a touch more transmissible. Hotel quarantine in Victoria will become academic if NSW drops it for vaccinated travellers, which it will as you will be able to fly into Sydney and then to Melbourne. And...

      Coming out of the pandemic is undoubtedly going to be bumpy but Delta Plus in the UK is not (yet at least) a ‘variant of concern’ nor is it thought to make people any more ill. But it *could* be a touch more transmissible. Hotel quarantine in Victoria will become academic if NSW drops it for vaccinated travellers, which it will as you will be able to fly into Sydney and then to Melbourne. And the new quarantine hubs are likely to be white elephants. Sydney doesn’t even have one.

  4. seanp78 Guest

    Thank you for this! I wasn't aware. I just booked QF F LAX-SYD for March next year on points. Can't wait to go home!

    1. Ethan Guest

      What date did you book? I’m not seeing any flights with F availability in March for passengers paying cash.

  5. Keith Guest

    Does anyone know if Qantas is planning to fly on to JFK with QF 11 and 12 as they did prior to the pandemic? At the time, everyone deplaned the A380 at LAX and transferred to a 747-400 that flew the LAX-JFK leg. The incoming flight from MEL also transferred passengers to this flight, although, of course, QF couldn't fly any passengers originating in LAX.

    1. shoeguy Guest

      QF swapped the 747-400 on LAX-JFK-LAX out for a 787-9 in April 2018, coinciding with its move out of JFK T7 and into T8. The 787 was usually, but not always, the BNE-LAX plane. I suspect that QF will bring the LAX-JFK-LAX sector back for a short period of time, once traffic normalizes and a few more 787 are delivered and pressed into service. But eventually, this add on tag will end, assuming Project Sunrise does become reality in a few years and SYD-JFK launches.

  6. Clem Platinum

    I guess this is a good sign indeed. I cannot wait to be able to go back to Australia and New Zealand!

    1. Steve Gold

      Yup i have to assume Qantas has some inside knowledge of things opening back up.

      This refresh looks great across all the cabins!

    2. Jan Guest

      Unfortunately Qantas has been announcing crap like this since June 2020. I would tamp down expectations

    3. James Guest

      The Government is opening international borders, that’s why Qantas is announcing flights.

  7. DENDAVE Guest

    Curious given the other short haul familiarization flights if quantas will do that too within Australia.

  8. Luke Guest

    Very surprising given their restrictions. Can they really fill up an A380 on SYD-LAX route with only Australian citizens.

    1. Mike C Gold

      Perhaps not, but it's still five months off, so perhaps they assume (or know) that the restrictions will have eased by then. Alternatively, they may simply want the two extra airframes for scheduling flexibility from late March. They already have A330s instead of B787s in the schedule for BNE to West Coast flights in Q2 2022.

    2. John.S Guest

      Qantas had the largest presence of any non-US airline at LAX before covid hit. The demand between the West Coast of the US and the East Coast of Australia is immense.

      I'd expect Australia to open a "travel bubble" with the US shortly, which would allow US citizens to enter Australia, there's going to be a trial of that system with Singapore.

  9. Jonathan Guest

    Ben, any insight on when we can expect Qantas F lounge in LAX to reopen?

    1. Mike C Gold

      Their website still says 'closed until further notice'. Qantas will only operates three flights a week from LAX to SYD until 18 Dec (on current plans). They go daily after that, and also resume LAX-MEL then, so that might be a date to watch.

      Media statements from the CEO today spoke of flights to London selling out in hours and more being added to the schedule in coming days, but no similar comments about US...

      Their website still says 'closed until further notice'. Qantas will only operates three flights a week from LAX to SYD until 18 Dec (on current plans). They go daily after that, and also resume LAX-MEL then, so that might be a date to watch.

      Media statements from the CEO today spoke of flights to London selling out in hours and more being added to the schedule in coming days, but no similar comments about US services, so that should probably temper any optimism of an earlier opening of the LA lounge.

    2. Willem Guest

      Makes sense then why there's currently no award availability that I see on these flights...

    3. Mick Guest

      The Qantas f lounge in lax is overated IMO. Horrible showers lolll.

      And I actually think qf f is underrated. Surely it’s better than LH F objectively. Way more private. Lounge upstairs. Better food.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Jeff McKenzie Guest

I have just booked Bris-London for July 2022. Bris-Perth on 737, then direct Perth-London on 787. However, Qantas has announced they will not be using Perth ATM due to border closures, instead opting to fly this service out of Darwin. Indeed, yesterday's news featured the first 787 refuelling in Darwin prior to departing for London. Looking at Qantas website, if you book Bris-LNR you will be directed to the Perth service, with no mention of Darwin. I guess time will tell, by next July I would expect Qantas to be using Perth again.

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Ethan Guest

What date did you book? I’m not seeing any flights with F availability in March for passengers paying cash.

0
Paul Lee Guest

I am personally happy to have found this out!! I really am impressed at the specs and even the flying speed!!! I love these big kings of the high skies!! These will do around 650 mph!!!, As their cruising speed

0
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