Qantas Airbus A380 To Be Used For Lion King Charter

Gossip about Qantas’ motivation for its one-off charter to Florida in January is at an end. The flight is to celebrate the release of Disney’s The Lion King and will deliver lucky sweep-stake winners to Disney World in Orlando.

Qantas A380 over Sydney
To celebrate the release of The Lion King Qantas offers one-off A380 to Florida. Photo: Qantas

In a recent article in June, we speculated upon the reason for Qantas’s filing of a one-time A380 charter to Orlando, Florida. The airline’s January 2020 schedule included an outbound route from Sydney on the 19th to return on the 24th. The route included a stop off at LAX.

We opined at the time that the Australian flag carrier was planning a “points plane” service.

Qantas announced in May its intention to offer a series of points plane flights across its network. Members may book any seat on board at the standard Qantas Points redemption rate for the route.

The first scheduled points plane will be an Airbus A380 flight from Melbourne to Tokyo (Narita) on October 21st this year.

The Lion King

However, following our receiving a comment from Simple Flying reader Chris, we were able to identify the reason for this particular charter. It’s part of a sweep-stake offer hosted by Woolworths Australia. 116 groups of four Woolworth’s customers will be flown to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida to celebrate the release of Disney’s The Lion King.

Qantas A380 on taxiway
Tickets for 116 groups of four on offer with Qantas. Photo: Qantas

On July 12th Woolworths Group revealed that its customers could win a trip to Disney World. But details were sketchy and there was no mention of the operating type. Customers were to purchase three participating brand products in a $30 shop. The code for entry into a raffle would be printed on the receipt.

In its press release at the time, Woolworths said,

116 trips for four people are up for grabs on an exclusive chartered Qantas flight. Staying 5 nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, exploring 4 incredible Walt Disney World Theme Parks.”

Writes OMAT, the seating configuration for the A380 is now public. They said, “The first 16 entries drawn will each receive business class seats. The next 8 entries will receive premium economy seats. The next 92 entries will receive economy seats.”

Qantas A380 on runway
Woolworth customers continue to benefit from union with Qantas. Photo: Qantas

It is not the first time Qantas has supported a Disney release. In 2013, the two companies collaborated in the screening of the movie premiere of “Planes”. 254 guests climbed aboard a 767 and watched the movie during a special one-off flight.

Woolworths and Qantas

Woolworths and Qantas signed an agreement in 2008. Everyday Rewards members can earn Qantas Frequent Flyer (QFF) points with purchases at Woolworths’ shops. Furthermore, if a member adds their QFF card to their Woolworths Rewards account they can choose whether or not to convert their savings to Qantas Points.

By the current arrangement, Everyday Rewards members earn one QFF point for each dollar over $30. The program covers monies spent in one transaction at Woolworths’ supermarkets and off-licenses.

It is yet to be seen whether avid QFF members will deem the latest of Qantas’s charter sweepstakes unprincipled. The loyalty program has, for some time been, a rich source of criticism.

We have asked Qantas for more details about the charter but have so far received no reply.