Qantas is tipped to bring its Airbus A380 aircraft back to service early as pilots on other fleets face strict quarantine rules. The move will allow the airline more flexibility with the giant of the skies initially returning to the route between Sydney (SYD) and Los Angeles (LAX).
While many airlines have been looking to delay the Airbus A380’s return, one airline is doing things differently. Qantas keeps bringing the planned return of its Airbus A380 services forward, and it now seems that the giant kangaroo jets will return to the Australian skies over the next month.
A380 services in January
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, citing an internal memo seen by the Herald and the Age, Qantas will resume flights with the Airbus A380 next month. From January 10th, the airline will start flying the Airbus A380 to Los Angeles three times a week.
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The route is currently being flown daily by a Boeing 787, meaning that placing the A380 on the route will bring down the frequency of the service. It seems that there is a method to Qantas’ madness, though.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Qantas’ Boeing 787 pilots arriving in Queensland from international destinations currently have to quarantine for 14 days. This means that they cannot fly for a period of two weeks, creating a significant gap in the airline’s roster. Explaining this, a Qantas spokesperson told the publication,
“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 Qantas Airbus A380’s return
So far, only one of the 12 Airbus A380s operated by Qantas has made it back to Australia. This aircraft, registered as VH-OQB, arrived back home last month after an epic 19-hour flight from Dresden in Germany.
All in all, Qantas is expected to bring back ten of its 12 giants. However, they won’t all come back at once. The single aircraft will be enough to complete a thrice-weekly rotation to Los Angeles. This is planned to become daily, and would likely necessitate the return of an additional aircraft.
Last week, Simple Flying reported that Qantas has now scheduled the Airbus A380 to return to the Kangaroo Route (Sydney-Singapore-London) from mid-June. With the journey taking around 24 hours in either direction and 61.25 hours for a rotation, Qantas will need at least three Airbus A380 services to make this schedule a reality.
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