In preparation for the planned December opening of international travel, the Boeing 787 is scheduled to take to the skies for the restart of Qantas’ international network, on routes to London and Los Angeles.
On Friday July 1 2022 the Airbus A380 Superjumbo is back in the schedule, almost two years to the day that Qantas sent its first superjumbo into hibernation.
Qantas initially forecast its A380s would be out of the picture until at least 2023, but a handful are coming back early to cater for an expected surge in bookings based on high vaccination rates and pent-up demand for travel.
Melbourne-Los Angeles is expected to remain a Boeing 787-9 route, while Brisbane-Los Angeles will feature a long-range version of the Airbus A330 previously seen on domestic east-west flights as well as flights to Asia.
The Qantas Boeing 787-9s have 236 seats, including 42 in business class and 28 in premium economy, but the double-decker A380s more than double that seat count to 485 – including 70 in business class and 60 premium economy, along with 14 first class suites.
In addition, all of the returning A380s will have been upgraded with the latest business class and premium economy seats, using the same designs as the Dreamliners, along with a refresh to the two ‘premium lounges’ on the upper deck first class suites.
The Sydney-LAX superjumbos will be followed by the upgrading of Sydney-Singapore-London to an A380 in November 2022.
Qantas will reopen its lounges at Los Angeles, Singapore and London, however the Hong Kong lounge will remain permanently closed.
Five more A380s are due to return to service by early 2024, dependent on how quickly the market rebounds.
All Qantas passengers on overseas flights will need to be fully vaccinated, with the introduction of a Travel Pass smartphone app to confirm vaccination status and which will also show the results of pre-departure Covid tests that are likely to be a requirement of entry to many countries.