Qantas expects to have all its 12 Airbus A380 jumbos back in service by 2024 but has left the hangar door open to bring them back sooner.
Speaking at CAPA Online Live Forum Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said “we think we will reactivate all of the A380s. We have spent a lot of money on them.”
In the year before the pandemic struck Qantas spend millions upgrading its A380 fleet to seat the new business product and an expanded premium economy.
The new configuration sees the number of First Suites stay the same at 14, 70 business suites (up by six), 60 premium economy seats (up by 25), and 341 economy seats (down by 30). The total seat count increases by one to 485.
This gives all business class customers direct aisle access and is a boost in terms of comfort and storage.
There is also an expanded lounge (below) with seating for up to 10 business and first passengers.
At the unveiling of the interiors in late 2019 Mr. Joyce told Airlineratings.com that “the A380 is a crucial part of our long-haul fleet and this upgrade program will see customers enjoy everything the aircraft has to offer for years to come.”
And COVID-19 has not swayed My Joyce that the future will be any different. “Once demand is there, they’re going to be good aircraft,” he told the CAPA conference.
He added that “if demand comes back earlier, we can reactivate the A380s within three to six months.”
In the meantime, Qantas’s limited international operations are being operated by Boeing 787s and A330s.
Mr. Joyce said that if normal international operations open up in October the airline could reactivate 22 overseas destinations with the 236-seat 787.