Sixth A380 Returns to Service as Qantas Ramps up Summer Capacity

Sixth A380 Returns to Service as Qantas Ramps up Summer Capacity

DALLAS – After more than two years in storage, Qantas (QF) will bring back its sixth Airbus A380 this month to help ramp up its International network. 

In a statement discussing its summer service improvements, the airline said that the superjumbo will provide “more operational resilience over the busy Christmas holidays.” The airframe is currently undergoing refurbishment and maintenance checks before returning to the flying line from mid-December. 

The Sydney-based carrier has a fleet of ten A380s, all of which were put into storage during the pandemic. Five have returned to service: VH-OQB, VH-OQD, VH-OQH, VH-OQJ, and VH-OQK. The sixth airframe to return is believed to be VH-OQA, the oldest A380 in the QF fleet. 

All ten of the airlines A380s were placed into storage. Photo: Ryan Scottini/Airways.

New Routes

In addition to the A380s return, the airline announced it would resume flights from Brisbane (BNE) and Tokyo, transferring from Narita (NRT) to Haneda (HND), from December 1. This will be operated thrice weekly by an Airbus A330. 

A new route from Melbourne (MEL) to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) will commence on December 3. Operated by a Boeing 787, the thrice-weekly service “offers connections to over 200 cities across North and South America with partner American Airlines.”

QF will join its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar (JQ) by launching flights from Sydney (SYD) to Seoul (ICN). The inaugural service will depart on December 10 and will be flown four times per week. The launch of this particular route was part of the reason that Australian authorities have given the green light to the Korean Air (KE)/Asiana Airlines (OZ) merger.

QF will be upgrading a number of its 737 routes to the larger A330. Photo: Noah Pitkin/Airways.

Capacity Increases

The airline is also swapping its Boeing 737s for the larger A330s on several domestic routes, including SYD to Cairns (CNS) as well as flights from SYD to Bali (DPS) from December 5, until January 26, 2023. 

Additional services are being added between SYD and Queenstown (ZQN), New Zealand and SYD to Fiji (NAN). The airline will also resume several seasonal flights this December. They are:

  • Adelaide (ADL)-Hobart (HBA)
  • Adelaide (ADL)-Gold Coast (OOL)
  • Canberra (CBR)-Sunshine Coast (MCY)
  • Canberra (CBR)-Cairns (CNS)
  • Brisbane (BNE)-Launceston (LST)
  • Melbourne (MEL)-Merimbula (MIM)

Featured Image: QF hopes to have its entire A380 fleet back in service by the end of 2023. Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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