"Pilots take no special joy in walking. Pilots like flying." - Neil Armstrong
Qantas - return of five A380s to meet high demand from 2022.
Written by: Ivo Gračanin.
From mid-December 2021, flights would start from Australia to COVID-safe destinations, which are likely to include Singapore, the United States, Japan, United Kingdom and Canada using Boeing 787s, Airbus A330s, and 737s and A320s for services to Fiji.
Flights between Australia and New Zealand will be on sale for travel from mid-December 2021 on the assumption some or all parts of the two-way bubble will restart.
Qantas’ ability to fly non-stop between Australia and London is expected to be in even higher demand post-COVID. The airline is investigating using Darwin as a transit point, which has been Qantas’ main entry for repatriation flights, as an alternative (or in addition) to its existing Perth hub given conservative border policies in Western Australia. Discussions on this option are continuing.
Five A380s will return to service ahead of schedule. These would fly between Sydney and LA from July 2022, and between Sydney and London (via Singapore) from November 2022. The A380s work well on these long-haul routes when there’s sufficient demand, and the high vaccination rates in both markets would underpin this.
Qantas will extend the range of its A330-200 aircraft to operate some trans-Pacific routes such as Brisbane-Los Angeles and Brisbane-San Francisco. This involves some technical changes that are now being finalised with Airbus.
Flights to Hong Kong will restart in February and the rest of the Qantas and Jetstar international network is planned to open up from April 2022, with capacity increasing gradually.
Qantas to take delivery of three 787-9s (new aircraft that have been in storage with Boeing) during FY23 to operate additional flights to key markets as demand increases.
Jetstar to take delivery of its first three Airbus A321neo LR aircraft from early FY23, the extended range of which will free up some of its 787s to be redeployed on other markets.
In total, 10 of Qantas’ A380s with upgraded interiors are expected to return to service by early 2024, with timing dependent on how quickly the market recovers. Two A380s will be retired.