Two A380s will return to flying earlier than planned, resuming service in April 2022 rather than July. QF is discussing with Boeing to accelerate the delivery of three brand new 787 Dreamliners which have been in storage during the pandemic. Qantas’ A380s were originally thought to be shelved until at least 2023/2024, but will be flying far sooner than expected. The reintroduction of the A380 is particularly important for use on a premium economy round the world airfare, given the cabin doesn’t feature on A330 services and has limited supply from competitors.
Qantas have made several changes to their international departure schedule for the months to come. This will see Sydney-Delhi flights debut on 06 December with three return flights per week serviced by an A330. This will increase to a daily service by the end of the year. This is expected to run until March 2022, and possibly longer if long term demand permits. The Delhi flights have not traditionally featured on discount round the world airfares, but we will wait and see if these are introduced to those fare options. For now this service would only be possible as a flight option with the oneworld round the world tickets.
Flights between Sydney and Singapore will resume on 23 November, a month earlier than originally planned, while Qantas flights to Fiji will now resume from 07 December. Qantas will also restart Sydney-Johannesburg flights on 05 January, rather than April, with Sydney-Bangkok being brought forward 14 January rather than 26 March. Jetstar’s Sydney-Phuket flights will also resume on 12 January.
Qantas will also bring forward Melbourne services in the wake of the recent news that travel to Victoria will not require quarantine from 1 November. Melbourne – London will resume from 6 November, 6 weeks earlier than scheduled, with 2 flights a week before a daily service from 18 December. Whilst Melbourne-Singapore will return from 22 November with 3 services a week initially before moving to a daily flight from 18 December as well.
QF Group CEO Alan Joyce said the rapid vaccination rollout had enabled the carrier to increase services and reactivate stood down staff much earlier than expected. “This is the best news we’ve had in almost two years and it will make a massive difference to thousands of our people who finally get to fly again,” he said. “Our customers and crew love flying on our flagship A380s, so news that they are will be back flying to Los Angeles again from April next year will be very welcome,” said Mr Joyce. “The Federal Government’s support to ensure our aircraft and people are ready to resume once borders reopen has been critical.”