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Qantas Has Sent Its 4th Airbus A380 To Mojave’s Aircraft Graveyard
Qantas has delivered its fourth Airbus A380 to an aircraft storage facility in the Mojave as part of its plan to mothball its superjumbo fleet until demand returns. The aircraft took off from Melbourne and is landed in a boneyard in the USA early this morning.
The fourth Qantas Airbus A380 was flown to California early this morning. Photo: Getty Images.
Where is the A380 flying?
The Qantas A380, tail number VH-OQH, took off from Melbourne (MEL) to Victorville (VCV). It is the fourth Qantas A380 to fly to this boneyard for long term storage.
The fourth Qantas A380 is en route to Victorville, USA for long term storage https://t.co/D7uWDjjS2a pic.twitter.com/LszKPfcwQJ
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) July 13, 2020
Qantas has another eight Airbus A380s (for a total of 12), currently displaced around the world.
As for the reason why the A380 is flying to America…
What is the Qantas plan?
Qantas is a large international airline that, until recently, had a vast range of aircraft from the humble Boeing 737 to classic Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380, as mentioned above. However, when the current aviation crisis struck, the carrier decided that they would need to bunker down for the foreseeable future.
The plan is to become a smaller airline and focusing only on Australia domestic travel (and potentially flights to New Zealand, but these plans have fallen on a backburner).
To become smaller, the airline has put a plan in motion to mothball 100 aircraft across its fleet. This number is rather significant, considering that the airline only has 133 aircraft.
“We have to position ourselves for several years where revenue will be much lower. And that means becoming a smaller airline in the short term,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in a statement last month.
The majority of aircraft (short-haul Boeing 737s) will remain in Australia, but the bigger aircraft will be moved to California, although for different reasons.
The Qantas A380 is not the only aircraft going into deep storage. Photo: Qantas
What is the future of big aircraft at Qantas?
The Boeing 747s are fully retried and phased out by the airline (with the last Qantas 747 flying off on June 22nd).
As for the A380s, they are not being retired but only stored for three years.
“The aircraft is being put into the Mojave Desert, where the environment protects the aircraft (because) we have the intention at the right time to restart them, but that is a considerable amount of time away.” – Alan Joyce speaking to Executive Traveler
Qantas had recently started to upgrade the A380s with the new Dreamliner business class back in October last year. Only a few of the A380s completed the upgrade before the current aviation crisis struck. Whether or not Qantas will complete the updates during this intermission (or simply retire the aircraft that lack the upgrades) remains to be seen.
While it is sad to see a majestic aircraft go into deep storage in the empty desert, at least the A380s have not suffered the same fate as the Boeing 747. The Qantas A380 is a fantastic aircraft to fly on, and a real breadwinner for the airline (its Sydney to Dallas, Texas route is especially lucrative). Three years can’t fly by fast enough.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
This article first appeared on simpleflying.com
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