Epic Journey: Qantas Ferries An Airbus A380 To Sydney From Germany

Qantas is ferrying an Airbus A380 from Germany to Sydney ahead of the type’s return to service. The aircraft left the German airport, where it had been undergoing maintenance this morning. It is due to touch down at its Sydney home, marking the official return of Qantas’s giant to Australia.

Qantas, Airbus A380, Sydney
The Qantas Airbus A380 is returning home ahead of its April 2022 return to service. Photo: Getty Images

Throughout the pandemic, the return of the Airbus A380 has looked a little hit and miss. This included the Qantas A380 after the entire fleet was sent to long-term storage in the United States. In a vote of confidence for the giant of the skies, the airline is bringing the type home, hoping to resume flights with the type in early 2022.

Homeward bound

This morning, Qantas’ second oldest Airbus A380 said ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to Dresden Airport in the east of Germany. According to data from RadarBox.com, the aircraft took to the skies at 10:21 this morning, around an hour and 20 minutes after it was due to leave the maintenance facility.

The flight is no short undertaking. Flying from Dresden to Sydney covers 8702 nautical miles as the crow flies. That’s about 10,000 regular miles or 16,000 kilometers. The flight is expected to last some 18 hours and 40 minutes. At the time of writing, RadarBox.com was predicting the aircraft would land in Sydney at 15:01 on Tuesday.

Qantas, Airbus A380, Sydney
The jet is expected to land back in Sydney on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: RadarBox.com

According to ch-aviation.com, VH-OQB was the 15th A380 to be built by Airbus. The jet first flew on June 25th, 2008, before being delivered on December 15th that same year. To date, the aircraft has racked up 50,345 hours (5.74 years) of flight across 4,445 flight cycles.

Get your boarding pass to the flight of the year. The Future Flying Forum is taking off soon!

What’s next for the jet?

While other airlines have been eying a reasonably rapid turnaround for the A380 on its return, Qantas is giving itself a little more time. From mid-December, the airline will be used to refresh the training of the crew who will fly the aircraft. However, the aircraft is also due to undergo a cabin refit before returning to service, to bring its cabin in line with other A380s featuring the new product. The jet will also get some TLC from Qantas engineers after more than a year away from home.

The A380’s return to service bearing the giant kangaroo is currently planned for April 2022. This is when the airline intends to resume flights with the giant to the likes of Los Angeles and London.

Qantas is expected to bring the giant of the skies back in April. Photo: Getty Images

Qantas has 12 Airbus A380s, ranging in age from 10.5 to 13.8 years. Only ten of these jets are expected to return to service over the coming years, though it is not entirely clear which two won’t fly again. The oldest jet, VH-OQA, is expected to be one of the planes that will remain grounded. The good news for A380 fans is that the airline hopes to have six of the giants back in the skies by the end of next year.

Are you excited to see Qantas’ Airbus A380 returning home? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!