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Qantas Adds Over 250,000 International Seats As A380s Return

Qantas Expands Its International Capacity Once Again

Let’s explore what’s new inside the Qantas Airbus A380.

In a bid to meet burgeoning travel demand, Qantas has revealed its plans to significantly bolster its international capacity. This move comes in anticipation of the return of additional aircraft to its fleet. That includes the airline’s new Boeing 787 Dreamliners and the return of the Airbus A380 to service.

Under the expansion, destinations, including New York, Los Angeles, Johannesburg, and Bali, will witness a surge in capacity.

Qantas Current Capacity Status and Future Forecasts

The Qantas Group currently operates at roughly 80 percent of its pre-pandemic international capacity, marking an almost twofold increase within a year. This figure is projected to hit the 100 percent mark by March 2024.

Moreover, the planned flight increase from July 2024 will push the airline’s capacity beyond its pre-COVID levels.

The recent delivery of three Boeing 787 Dreamliners and the progressive return of the airline’s Airbus A380s to service after post-storage maintenance are key factors enabling Qantas to steadily raise its flying levels.

New Additions to the Qantas Flight Schedule

Qantas is set to introduce over 250,000 additional seats for its Australian routes, details of which are as follows:

  • Sydney-Bali: From October this year, larger Airbus A330 aircraft will supplant the daily Boeing 737 flights, offering more premium seats and fully-flat beds in Business Class.
  • Sydney-Auckland-New York: The frequency of flights on this route, launched in June, will increase from four times a week to daily starting August 2024.
  • Sydney-Johannesburg: Starting in July 2024, Qantas will deploy A380s to South Africa for the first time, nearly doubling the capacity during peak times.
  • Melbourne-Los Angeles: The route will see about a 20 percent increase in capacity with more A380 flights from July 2024.
  • Sydney-Los Angeles: The weekly flight count will rise from eight to nine from July 2024, with a mix of Boeing 787 and A380 aircraft operating the route.

Tickets for these flights will be available to book Tuesday on qantas.com and via travel agents.

Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace noted that the enhanced flying schedule would cater to the sustained demand for international travel and stimulate the tourism industry.

“Hundreds of thousands of extra seats on our network is great news for our customers planning their next overseas trip. We know our customers are looking for great value and this additional capacity will put more downward pressure on fares,” Wallace said. “The additional capacity will largely be made possible through our final two A380s returning to the Qantas fleet following heavy maintenance and cabin improvements.” 

Qantas’s additional capacity announcement follows earlier news that the airline would add one million seats to the airline’s network over the next year through new routes, larger aircraft, and more flights to popular destinations.

Notable upcoming routes include:

  • Sydney-Shanghai: This route will resume in late October after over three years.
  • Brisbane-Honiara and Brisbane-Wellington: These routes will be launched in late October.

Qantas flights can be booked using COVID credits.

As part of an initiative launched in June, Qantas introduced an online Find My Credit tool to help customers retrieve bookings dating back to 2020 that were canceled due to sudden and repeat border closures. Qantas extended the travel expiry date for these credits, giving customers an extra 12 months to travel. That is, provided they book by 31 December this year.

Note: Some flights are subject to government and regulatory approval.

Inside: Qantas Airbus A380 Cabin Upgrades

The Upgraded Qantas Airbus A380

After being parked in the California desert, the fourth Qantas A380 Reginald Ansett (VH-OQH) returned home this past March. Qantas used this downtime to upgrade the aircraft, increasing the number of premium seats and refurbishing the cabins.

The upgraded Qantas Airbus A380 infographic.
  • Total 485 Passenger capacity inside the Qantas Airbus A380
  • 14 First suites
  • 70 Business Suites
  • 60 Premium Economy seats
  • 341 Economy seats
  • 27% increase in premium seating

First Class Travel is Back

Earlier this year, Qantas reinstated its full First Class offering for international travel as the pandemic restrictions lifted and the airline’s A380 superjumbo returned to service.

The First cabin on the 485-seat A380 is popular with Frequent Flyers for its comfortable suites, featuring fully lay-flat beds, premium Neil Perry multi-course dining experience, award-winning Australian wine cellar, and designer PJs by Martin Grant.

“We know that our customers have missed the Qantas A380 travel experience as much as our team has missed being able to provide it for them, so it’s fantastic that we’re back in the air with our premium full-service on these newly refurbished aircraft.”

Qantas Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully

New Busines and First Upper Deck Lounge Inside Qantas Airbus A380

The upper deck lounge was upgraded with booth-style seating (up to 10 guests), a self-service bar, and the option to order signature drinks and snacks.

Transformed First and Business

In the transformed Qantas Airbus A380 upper deck lounge, First and Business class passengers can relax surrounded by soothing ambient lighting in the David Coon-designed booth with comfortable, deep cushions. Enjoy a bespoke menu designed by Neil Perry, or help yourself to something from the self-service bar.

Qantas Airbus A380 New Cabin Features

These A380 aircraft feature a reconfigured business class cabin with 70 updated business suites and an extended premium economy section with 60 seats (previously 35).

About the Qantas Airbus A380: Fast Facts

  • No. in fleet: 12
  • First received: 2008
  • Wingspan: 79.8 metres
  • Cruising speed: Mach 0.85
  • Engine thrust: 70,000 pounds
  • Maximum take-off weight: 560 tonnes
  • Range at full capacity: 13,800 kilometers
  • Average flights flown annually per aircraft: 400
  • More than 2 million passengers carried on Qantas A380s yearly • Around 11 hours average flight time
  • Powered by 4 Rolls Royce Trent 900 engines
  • The Qantas A380 flies to the following Airports: Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, London, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Dallas

Qantas A380 In-Flight Entertainment

  • Larger, full HD screens with a movie picture quality resolution of 1920×1080 in First, Business and Premium Economy
  • Passenger-controlled inflight entertainment parental lock in all cabins

Qantas A380 Seat Map

These are the LOPAs (location of passenger seating), also known as seat maps for Qantas’ A380 superjumbo upper and lower decks.

Qantas A380 All-Premium Upper Deck

Business

  • 70 next-gen Qantas Business Suites (up from 64) with a richer color scheme
  • Direct aisle access for all passengers
  • More storage and workspaces
  • 16″ In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) screen (previously 12″)
  • High-powered USB and power outlets

Premium Economy

  • 60 Premium Economy seats (up from 35), featuring a cocktail table and footrest (debuted on the Qantas 787 Dreamliner)
  • Around 10% additional seat width
  • New dedicated self-service snack bar
  • 13″ In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) screens (previously 11″)
  • USB and power outlets

Qantas A380 First and Economy Lower Deck

First Class

  • 14 refurbished Qantas First Suites with new cushioning
  • Refreshed, brighter color scheme
  • 18″ In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) screen (previously 17″)
  • High-powered USB. and power outlets

Economy

  • The Economy class cabin was relocated entirely to the main deck of the Qantas A380
  • 341 seats with new cushions, fabrics, and a new color scheme
  • Self-service snack bar
  • Enhanced IFE system
  • USB and power outlets

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