QANTAS: A380 returns to Sydney to Hong Kong route
Qantas has been using an Airbus A330 on the Sydney to Hong Kong route QF127/128. From 31 October, according to ET, Qantas will be substituting an Airbus A380 for the peak travel season over the Australian summer to Chinese New Year, or November 2023 through to February 2024.
Initially, Qantas will fly an un-refurbished A380 daily on the 9-hour plus flight. Exceptions are Mondays and Thursdays when the A330 will still fly. That is set to change from mid-December, to February 2024, when if pre-covid patterns are to be observed, will again revert to a smaller aircraft.
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The A380 is a substantial capacity increase on the A330. The Superjumbo has about 200 extra seats. It would double the capacity in Business Class and add 100 seats in Economy and 35 in Premium Economy.
Oh, and of course it adds First Class to the route with 14 seats. However, Qantas does not intend to sell these seats as First Class but will sell them as Business Class seats and offer the same food and beverage service. Despite not being the upgraded First Class cabins, these seats will still be a nice space upgrade, not to mention a quieter cabin with a 1-1-1 configuration from standard Business Class.
The downside of this added capacity is that old A380 configuration, which holds the last remnants of those Mark Newson-designed Skybeds in a 2-2-2 configuration.
If you are travelling in Business Class, pay attention when selecting your seat because you should get access to those lower deck First Class seats, rows 1 to 5. They are worth booking for their reduced density and added space, even if you won’t get actual first-class catering and amenities.