Qantas announces A380 London-Sydney launch

22 Sep 2008 by Mark Caswell

Qantas has announced that it will add its A380 superjumbo on to the London-Sydney kangaroo route from January 16, 2009.

The carrier took delivery of its first A380 aircraft last week (see online news September 19 and September 20), and will put the plane into service on its Melbourne-Los Angeles route from October 20, followed by Sydney-LA from October 24.

But the good news for UK-based passengers is that Qantas will offer the A380 on its London-Sydney (via Singapore) service from January 16 next year. The airline will put the superjumbo on flight codes QF31 and QF32 on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, putting it head to head with Singapore Airlines’ superjumbo between London and Singapore, with SIA now offering twice-daily flights with the A380 on this route.

No doubt conscious of the previous delays to the A380, Qantas has placed a disclaimer on its website saying that “In the event that a last minute aircraft change is necessary, it is possible that a substitute aircraft may operate on these routes”.

The airline’s outgoing CEO Geoff Dixon admitted that but for the delays Qantas would now have between eight and twelve A380s in its fleet. However speaking at the delivery of the first A380 to Qantas, Airbus CEO Tom Enders reiterated that the manufacturer would complete the twelve A380 aircraft this year that it announced in its revised schedules, saying that he was “ready to take a bet that we will deliver more than 10 aircraft, more than 11 aircraft”.

To read Business Traveller's exclusive review of the business class offering onboard Qantas’ A380, click here.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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