Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said that the Australian flag carrier expects all of its Airbus A380s to return to the skies.
Qantas grounded all of its 12 A380s in June and sent them to the Mojave Desert for long-term storage. The airline had begun refitting its jumbos with new cabin products less than a year before the grounding.
Speaking at a CAPA Live virtual conference on Wednesday, CEO Alon Joyce said:
“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.”
Qantas plans to restart almost all the international routes from the end of October, even though Australia‘s vaccination programme has been delayed.
“Our plan was at the end of October, if the international borders were to open up, we could start 22 of the 25 destinations we had pre-COVID with smaller aircraft, fewer premium seats on it. And we think that’s sufficient to make good money, and the economics work on that business,” said Joyce.
As the aircraft are parked close to key maintenance bases, they can be reactivated in a short period if demand trends suddenly upwards. Joyce said that the A380s could be reactivated within three to six months.
Regarding the Boeing 787 and its operation, Joyce said:
“The 787 is such a good aircraft; it can replace the entire A380 and 747 networks in terms of range, with smaller aircraft and unit costs that are even better than an A380. We have been replacing the bigger aircraft with the 787s. They have a smaller premium cabin, but a smaller cabin overall, and a bigger percentage of the revenue coming from the premium cabin.”
Feature Image: “Brendon Thorne via Getty Images”