Qantas has confirmed that it plans to resume initial Airbus A380 operations from Saturday, 27 November 2010, commencing with a QF31 service from Sydney to London via Singapore.
The aircraft intended to operate this service will be transported to Sydney on a ferry flight from Los Angeles, scheduled to depart at 23:00 local time, Monday, 22 November. A second aircraft is expected to depart Los Angeles for Sydney later this week.
The decision to restore A380 services follows an intensive Trent 900 engine inspection program carried out in close consultation with Rolls-Royce and Airbus. Together with the engine and aircraft manufacturers and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Qantas says is now satisfied that it can begin reintroducing A380s to its international network progressively.
Initially, Qantas will operate a single A380 on routes between Australia and the United Kingdom. As more A380s return to service, Qantas said it will assess when and how best to deploy them.
In line with its conservative approach to operational safety, Qantas is voluntarily suspending A380 services on routes that regularly require use of maximum certified engine thrust and will do so until further operational experience is gained or possible additional changes are made to engines.
This is an operational decision by Qantas and pilots still have access to maximum certified thrust if they require it during flight. It is not a manufacturer’s directive.
Qantas has continued to operate a full international and domestic schedule, using Boeing 747 aircraft on long-haul routes to the United States and Europe, Airbus A330 aircraft to replace B747s on some routes and Boeing 767s to replace A330s on other routes. The Qantas Group has a fleet of over 250 aircraft.
A380 engines remain subject to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Airworthiness Directive issued on 11 November, mandating that all Trent 900s undergo certain inspections every 20 flying cycles.
Qantas is scheduled to take delivery of two new A380s before the end of 2010 and a further two in early 2011.