Back in December of 2018, Qantas flew an Airbus A380 on their Sydney to Hong Kong route for a few months.
This was news as normally a Boeing 787 has been deployed on this route, which does not contain a first class cabin. With the A380, however, passengers were able to upgrade to the best class the carrier offers to the Asian destination.
And now, almost eleven years later, it’s back .
What are the details?
This story first appeared on Australian Business Review, who reported that Qantas has decided to deploy one of their 12 A380s on the Sydney to Hong Kong route.
It will be flying for the 2019-2020 Australian summer season, during which the extra capacity A380 will be particularly useful as additional travelers are expected for holidays such as Christmas (in December) and Chinese New Year (in February). Specifically, it will run from the 4th of December this year to March 28th 2o20. This aircraft change also fits in well with the new Qantas route to Sapporo, Japan, announced yesterday.
Sydney has a sizable Hong Kong expat population who will greatly appreciate the extra room, and with Australia changing it’s visa conditions to allow those on student visas (Chinese students studying in Sydney) to sponsor parents, it will be needed.
This A380 will replace a 787 Dreamliner currently operating on the route, which only has business and economy onboard. As Qantas is in the process of renovating their A380 fleet, it is likely that many of these aircraft will feature the new cabin interiors, with a new business class and a reimagined first class.
Qantas has confirmed that these Hong Kong A380s will be the first to be upgraded with the superb Qantas Dreamliner 787 business seats. This upgrade will also include an additional six business class seats.
What is first class like onboard?
Because Qantas is using the specific A380 configuration which includes first class, it means they are the only airline to offer this level of product on this route. All others operating only offer business. Additionally, Qantas first class is only available on their A380 fleet (and one 747),
On the A380, there are 14 individual suites in a 1-1-1 configuration. The seats actually rotate around, all facing forward for takeoff but then actually slide sideways when dining or using the tray table. They have 83.5 inches of seat pitch (and over two meters when in flatbed configuration) but are only 29 inches wide, which is not very wide at all when compared to other options.
This aircraft will also come with two business lounges onboard, which the first class passengers will be allowed to use throughout the flight.
Many have called the lack of first class on the Sydney to Hong Kong route the ‘Oneworld Missing Link‘. With this new aircraft, passengers can upgrade to first then continue onwards on Cathay Pacific first class to many other destinations.
What do you think? Will you fly on the Qantas A380 to Hong Kong?