Breaking: Qantas To Fly A380s By April 2022

A resurgent Qantas is bringing their Airbus A380s back into service in April 2022, three months earlier than previously announced. The first A380 will make it back to Australia on Christmas day to assist with crew training ahead of its return to service.

Qantas is bringing its first A380 back to Sydney on Christmas Day. Photo: Qantas

First A380 heading back to Sydney on Christmas Day

By April, two A380s will be operating scheduled flights between Sydney and Los Angeles. A further three A380s will return to service from mid-November 2022, with the remaining five expected to return to service by early 2024.

Qantas’ online schedules already reflect the change, with the daily QF11 service between Sydney and Los Angeles operated by an A380 from April 1. The return flight to Sydney is QF12.

“Our customers and crew love flying on our flagship A380s, so news that they are will be back flying to Los Angeles again from April next year will be very welcome,” stated Qantas CEO Alan Joyce on Friday in Sydney.

“We’ve said for months that the key factor in ramping up international flying would be the quarantine requirement. The decision by the NSW Government to join many cities from around the world by removing quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers means we’re able to add these flights from Sydney much earlier than we would have otherwise.”

The announcement covers ten of Qantas’ 12 Airbus A380s, suggesting the airline is holding firm to its decision to retire two of the jumbos.

As Australia’s vaccination rates soar, draconian border closures, mandatory quarantine, and heavy-handed limits on the number of people who can fly into Australia are quickly falling by the wayside.

Victoria, home to Australia’s second-biggest city, Melbourne, will announce that it is dropping its quarantine rules later on Friday, joining New South Wales. That wedges Australia’s third-largest state, Queensland, and is likely to force their hand in re-opening to international arrivals.

“Only three months ago, we were planning to keep these aircraft in the desert until December 2023,” said Alan Joyce on Friday. “That’s how fast things are moving, and we are optimistic about the demand.”

Qantas boss Alan Joyce was all smiles on Friday morning. Photo: Getty Images

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Qantas brings forward international flying from Sydney

The early return of the A380 wasn’t the only news from Qantas. The airline is bringing a raft of international flights forward and introducing a new service to Delhi. Qantas hasn’t operated regular flights into India for a decade.

Flights between Sydney and Singapore are resuming on November 23, 2021, four weeks earlier than scheduled. Fiji flights will be brought forward to December 7, 2021, from 19 December 2021. Qantas flights to Johannesburg will resume on January 5, 2022, three months earlier than scheduled.

Also on the radar are flights between Sydney and Bangkok, now resuming on January 14, 2022, more than two months earlier than scheduled. Qantas’ low-cost airline, Jetstar, will resume flying between Sydney and Phuket on January 12, 2022, more than two months earlier than scheduled.

Qantas plans to launch a new route from Sydney to Delhi on 6 December 2021 with three return flights per week with its A330 aircraft, building to daily flights by the end of the year. This is subject to discussions with Indian authorities to finalize necessary approvals.

Qantas expects business to roar back this upcoming summer. Photo: Qantas

A big boost for Sydney

Note all these flights are running out of Sydney, suggesting the decision of the New South Wales government to re-open first gives that state an early mover advantage and a big economic shot in the arm.

When Victoria confirms its re-opening to international travelers, there will inevitably be fresh flights. But isolationist Queensland and Western Australia are shaping up as flyover states for Qantas international services unless they move to re-open soon.

The icing on the cake for Qantas today is the confirmation all Qantas and Jetstar workers based in Australia and New Zealand who are currently stood down will return to work by early December 2021. This includes around 5,000 employees linked to domestic flying and around 6,000 linked to international flying. Indeed very good news.