Qantas Stores Last Airbus A380 In The Desert

Editorial

Qantas has parked its last Airbus A380 in the desert. The aircraft was flown from Dresden, Germany, to Victorville in the California Mojave Desert. All twelve Qantas A380s are now waiting there for better times.

Qantas was forced to suspend all international flights until mid-2021 due to the corona crisis and strict Australian travel restrictions. Most of the widebody fleet is therefore grounded.

As soon as the intercontinental market picks up, Qantas will first return the Boeing 787 fleet to service. The A380s will remain on the ground significantly longer. Earlier this year Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said that he expected the Superjumbos not to return to service until 2023.

The nine-year-old A380 with registration VH-OQI was in Dresden for an upgrade of the cabin interior. At Elbe Flugzeugwerke, the aircraft was equipped with brand new Business Suites and Premium Economy seats. These will not be used for the first time until 2023 at the earliest.

The reason Qantas parks its A380s and Boeing 787s in the United States and not Australia is that Mojave is just a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, where the airline has stationed maintenance technicians. In addition, the climatic conditions for long-term aircraft storage in Mojave are more favorable than in Alice Springs.

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