Qantas Flew Its Last A380 Flight For Three Years

Editorial

Qantas recently operated its last flight on the Airbus A380. The aircraft will not be used AGAIN by the Australian carrier for the next three years.

The A380 operated an 11-hour flight on Friday from a maintenance facility in Dresden, Germany to Victorville, on the edge of California’s Mojave Desert. It joined nine other aircraft that Qantas is storing there as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its operations. The A380’s interior was recently partly renewed in Dresden. It is equipped with refreshed first-class suites, new business class seats and two redesigned lounges at the front of the upper deck.

Qantas operates a fleet of 12 Airbus A380s and intends to ground all of its A380s pending the recovery in air travel demand in the post-pandemic world. Only six aircraft have received the upgrade. These are also expected to be the first to return when there are enough passengers to travel on major long-haul routes. But that half-size fleet may well be all that returns from the desert.

Like many other airlines, Qantas is feeling the consequences of the coronavirus crisis first-hand. The airline reported a 2.7 billion dollar loss for the financial year of 2020, consisting of among others the necessary 1.4 billion dollar write-off of its A380 fleet. The airline’s CEO Alan Joyce predicts that its international network will reach only 50% of its pre-pandemic capacity next year.

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