Where Did Qantas Fly The Airbus A380 Before COVID-19?

Qantas plans to bring its Airbus A380s back into service next July after a two-year Californian desert sojourn. All going well, the jumbo jet will initially resume services between Los Angeles and Sydney. It is kind of appropriate given Los Angeles was always a regular pitstop for the Qantas A380. But where else did Qantas normally fly its A380s to before they were grounded?

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Qantas used to fly the A380 to five destinations from Australia. Photo: Dallas Fort Worth Airport

Two North American Qantas A380 destinations

In addition to LAX, there were just a handful of regular destinations – Dallas Fort Worth, Singapore, and London Heathrow, and seasonal flights to Hong Kong. Popular routes to big airports, just what the A380 was built for.

Qantas flew the A380 to Los Angeles from both Sydney and Melbourne. QF11 used to push back late morning every day from Sydney for the 7,458 mile (12,074 kilometer) hop up to Los Angeles. With winds pushing the A380 along, flying time was around 13 and a half hours. QF12 was the return flight that used to depart LAX around 22:30 every evening. Flying time was longer heading west, often up to 15 hours.

Leaving Melbourne mid-morning every day was QF93. The flight was slightly longer at 7,888 miles (12,772 kilometers) and took 14 and a half hours to complete. QF94 left Los Angeles around midnight every evening to land back in Melbourne mid-morning two days later. Flying time on the west-bound flight was nearly 16 hours.

Qantas also sent its A380 to Dallas Fort Worth from Sydney. QF7 and QF8 were blockbuster Qantas flights, making big money for the airline. The A380 left Sydney early afternoon for the 8,538 mile (13,823 kilometer) run to DFW. Flying time was typically around 15 hours. Coming back to Sydney, QF8 departed mid-evening in Dallas. This flight typically took around 17 hours, pushing the A380 to its limits.

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A Qantas A380 in storage in California. Photo: Vincenzo Pace/Simple Flying

London, Singapore, Hong Kong other Qantas A380 destinations

Qantas’ flagship QF1/QF2 daily Sydney-Singapore-London-Singapore-Sydney also utilized the A380. For several years, the flights went via Dubai before Qantas switched back to the popular Southeast Asian airport. The Sydney – Singapore leg took around eight hours to fly. The final hop to London took longer, at around 14 hours. Sydney – London is one route Qantas wants to fly nonstop under the Project Sunrise banner.

Also seeing a Qantas A380 was the Melbourne – Singapore run, one of the busiest international sectors to and from Australia. QF35 would push back in MEL just after midday and land in Singapore later that afternoon after an eight-hour flight. The return flight, QF36, would leave Singapore mid-evening and arrive in Melbourne in time for breakfast the next day.

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A Qantas A380 flying over Sydney. Photo: Qantas

Qantas also sent its A380s to Hong Kong on a seasonal basis. The flights you would find the jumbo on included QF127 up to Hong Kong from Sydney and QF128 on the return leg. But continuing political troubles in Hong Kong raise questions about the long-term viability of that city as an ongoing A380 destination and whether it will be a popular as it once was.

While several carriers are retiring their A380s fleets, Qantas is moving in a different direction. CEO Alan Joyce has always maintained the A380 can work on the right routes. He thinks once normal flying resumes, routes like LAX – SYD will be busier than ever, saying just two weeks ago “we know that pent up demand is there and the A380 is a perfect vehicle.”

Are there any more destinations on the Qantas international network that would suit the A380? Post a comment and let us know.

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