QANTAS: A380 to soar again between Melbourne and LAX with First Class
Qantas, having mothballed all its A380s during the pandemic, is now bringing them back. according to ET, slowly but surely, and most have been refurbished. Qantas is currently flying 7 of the A380s with another one returning in the next few months to make 8. Qantas originally had 12 of the aircraft but is only expected to bring back 10 of the original 12. However, I expect that is a watching brief, depending on whether there continues to be unfulfilled demand, and whether they need them before the Project Sunrise ultra-long-haul A350s arrive as scheduled in 2024.
The Qantas schedule now has an A380 flying three days a week (Monday, Thursday and Saturday) between Melbourne and Los Angeles from Monday 30 October 2023. OK that’s more than six months away, but we all live in hope. The A380 we all hope is one of the fully refurbished ones, with new Business Suites, refreshed First Class and newly designed onboard lounge areas.
The A380 fights will add substantially to the number of seats available on the route and should offer some more options for Classic Rewards seats – if you’re lucky. If you have to pay, then don’t expect any change from AU $25,000 return!
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Flight Details for A380
This runs 3 days per week: Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and has First, Business Premium and Economy
- QF93 11:00 from Melbourne, arriving 07:20 at LAX
- QF94 22:05 from LAX, arriving 08:00+2 days in Melbourne
Flight Details for B787
On the other 4 days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday 787 are without First Class, but leave a little earlier in both directions.
- QF95 10:55 from Melbourne, arriving ~07:15 at LAX
- QF94 21:05 from LAX, arriving 08:00+2 days in Melbourne
If you want to travel First Class to Los Angeles nonstop then there is no competition other than flying via Sydney. For Business Class passengers who want to go nonstop, then the alternate is United, with their Polaris business seats, and a partner of Virgin Australia.
If you are prepared to have at least one stop, then you have a lot of options including Singapore Airlines, Fiji Airways and Air New Zealand
I’m all for seeing as many A380s return to the air as possible since I am a total super jumbo fanboy.
What’s holding the final two of these A380s back from re-entering the fleet until 2024 is the 100 days of maintenance that is required to bring these planes out of mothballs, not to mention the time required for the refurbishment of the interiors. That’s most of the problem, and the other is that worldwide aircraft maintenance facilities are booked out, so getting a slot is difficult and/or expensive.
On a quick glance through the availability of classic rewards fares, I can see plenty of Economy, and some Business seats available through until the end of the year. Nothing in First as far as I can see.
For any premium seats, I’d be redeeming sooner rather than later.
What did you say?