Qantas’ Airbus A380 Returns To Passenger Service

The Qantas Airbus A380 made a triumphant return to the skies with passengers onboard earlier today. The aircraft took off from Sydney Airport in Australia at 22:07 local time, around a quarter of an hour behind schedule. The flight marks the start of the return of the giant at the Australian flag carrier.

Qantas’ Airbus A380s have returned to passenger service. Photo: Getty Images

2021 was the year of the return of the Airbus A380, at least in the latter portion. British Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways all restarted services with the giant of the skies. This momentum is set to continue moving forward, with the reemergence of the Qantas giant, alongside the scheduled return of Asiana’s A380s.

VH-OQB welcomes passengers once more

VH-OQB has become a regular sight in the skies above Sydney over the past week with several training flights taking place on most days. Now, passengers have once again set foot on the giant of the skies.

At 22:07 local time on Tuesday, the giant of the skies took off from Sydney Airport, bound for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It is due to land here at 15:48 on Tuesday, effectively ‘time traveling’ by crossing the international dateline, according to RadarBox.com.

Qantas-Emirates-A380-Sydney-Stunt-Getty
Both Qantas and Emirates are now flying the A380 to Sydney alongside Singapore Airlines. Photo: Qantas

One of two routes planned this year

Flight QF 11 is the first of two long-haul A380 routes planned by the Australian flag carrier. Initially, Qantas has a service planned to LAX roughly every other day. According to Cirium Schedule data, this will jump to almost daily during April and May, and then again from August onwards.

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The A380 schedule to LAX is currently scheduled to die down in June and July. This is because the airline is planning to relaunch flights to London via Singapore, and won’t have reactivated enough A380s to maintain the full LAX schedule too.

Qantas, Airbus A380, Sydney Airport
Qantas welcomed the Airbus A380 back home to Sydney in November. Photo: Getty Images

What to expect from the Qantas A380?

Qantas has been upgrading its Airbus A380 cabins over the past couple of years in a sign that the airline was committed to the type (at least before COVID-19 hit). In November, Qantas revealed that VH-OQB would get the cabin refurbishment before returning to the skies. However, at the time it was still expected to resume Los Angeles flights in April.

The refurbished A380 cabin sees a slightly smaller economy cabin than the aircraft was initially launched with. The cabin has 30 fewer seats than the old configuration. Premium economy has 60 seats in a 2-3-2 layout, while the business class has 70 seats in a 1-2-1 layout. Finally, at the front of the main deck are 14 open suites in a 1-1-1 configuration

Are you excited to see Qantas’ Airbus A380s back in the skies? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!

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