Qantas cuts flight services amid A380 delays

A Qantas Airbus A380 in the hangar.
Photo Credit: Qantas

~ by Len Varley

The Australian national carrier Qantas has been forced to trim its flight scheduling amid delays with the return of its Airbus A380 fleet to line operations.

Initial planning by Qantas would have seen its fleet of 12 A380 superjumbo aircraft returned to commercial flight operations this year, however the proposed fleet programming has been hampered by what the airline characterises as ongoing supply chain issues.

Factors Influencing Delays

Faced with the pressures of a global shortage of aircraft piece parts and components, as well as engineering staff and hangar infrastructure limitations, the delayed return to service is forcing the curtailing of some of the airline’s long haul international operations.

Having mothballed the A380 fleet under long-term storage in the California desert during the global pandemic, Qantas has so far managed to reinstate eight of the superjumbo fleet to active operations.

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A further two aircraft remain at a Middle Eastern maintenance facility, and it remains uncertain when these aircraft will eventually be returned to line operations.

The eight serviceable A380 aircraft are currently employed on Qantas long haul operations to London Heathrow (LHR) and Los Angeles (LAX).

The active fleet complement will be further reduced by one aircraft in the near future, with A380 registered VH-OQL scheduled to be rotated off active line duties in order to undergo a passenger cabin upgrade.

Photo: Qantas Airbus A380-800. Phot Credit: Qantas

Proposed Scheduling Adjustments

As a result of the shortfall, Qantas now plan to make some adjustments to long haul route scheduling over the period from July to October 2024. According to data from Aerotime, network changes will include the following:

Flight operations from Melbourne to Los Angeles will be supplemented by the carriers Boeing 787-9 aircraft which will operate a daily return service on the route 5 days per week. The operational A380 fleet will pick up the other two return services for the week.

The current complement of nine return services per week from Sydney to Los Angeles will be reduced to 7 per week, covered by the current A380 fleet.

Several proposed flight services will either be put on hold or downgraded as a result.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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