MIAMI – Qantas (QF) pushes the return of the A380 to January 11, 2022, with the first Superjumbo set to fly between Sydney and Los Angeles.

The double-decker will operate on the flagship route three days a week, with one weekly Boeing 787 service – a drop from the originally anticipated daily schedule.

The reason for this, according to the airline, is that its 70-plus Brisbane-based Boeing 787 pilots must spend 14 days in quarantine after each overseas flight, which means they can’t be rostered onto additional foreign flights until they leave quarantine. These restrictions do not apply to crews based in most other states.

Qantas brought one Airbus A380 out of storage in November for crew training, with a QF spokesperson adding that this also gave the airline “some flexibility over the busy summer holiday period if we needed it,” as quoted by executivetraveller.com.

The Queensland Government has stated that restrictions on international travel will be eased once 90% of the state’s population has been double-vaccinated, which is expected to happen in late January, after which QF expects its Boeing 787 roster to return to normal.

The Sydney-LAX superjumbos will be followed by the upgrading of Sydney-Singapore-London to an A380 from June 19.

Qantas VH-OQA Airbus A380-800. Photo: Christian Winter/Airways

Further Comments from Qantas


“Having the aircraft and the crew ready to go means we’re able to plug some of the gap created by having so many 787 pilots stuck with quarantine rules.”

“The A380 is a favourite among our customers and our employees and it will be fantastic to see it back in the sky again months ahead of schedule.”

Qantas now plans to have six A380s in its Sydney hangars by the end of next year, with four more slated to return to service by early 2024 – although the airline says two of the 12-strong superjumbo fleet will be retired “because they will be surplus to requirements.”


Featured image: Qantas Airbus A380 VH-OQH. Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways