When Qantas began ferrying its 12 A380s to the Mojave Desert for storage last June, many thought it would be the last time we’d see the type fly for the Australian airline. However, CEO Alan Joyce has said today that he fully expects to bring back every A380 to the fleet, and can reactivate them as quickly as three to six months if needed.
It’s been 10 months since Qantas sent its A380s to the Mojave Desert for long-term storage. At the time, the airline didn’t think they would be needed again before around 2023 to 2024. In some circles, shadows of doubt were cast over whether the type would ever return to the Australian airline at all
However, despite the A380s decline across airlines globally, the future at Qantas appears to be quite bright. Speaking at today’s CAPA Live event, CEO of Qantas Alan Joyce said that he fully expects to bring all the A380s back into service. He commented, “We think we will reactivate all of the A380s. We spent a lot of money on them … Once demand is there, they’re going to be good aircraft, get back in the air and we can cope with this lower demand environment with some time by just parking them and using the 787 system."
The A380s had begun a refit with Qantas’ new cabin products less than a year before the grounding. The new interiors, complete with a stunning new first class cabin, had been fitted to just six of the 12 aircraft, amid plans to operate the type for at least 10 more years. With the pandemic eating into that time, it remains to be seen whether Qantas will continue with the expensive refresh on the other A380s in the fleet.