According to the most recent wave of schedule changes washing across Qantas’ calendar, anyone intending to travel first class on the superjumbo next year between Melbourne and Los Angeles may have crushed their dreams of high flying.
This indicates that the airline will not introduce the Airbus A380 into the trans-Pacific route beginning in late March of 2023 as previously scheduled.
The reliable Boeing 787 Dreamliner now takes up the QF93/QF94 daily slot.
Business class and premium economy seats on the A380 and Dreamliner are interchangeable. Still, the 787 lacks the superjumbo’s 14 first-class suites and the upper deck “premium lounges” where business and first-class passengers may unwind with a drink.
Qantas’ downsizing to the Dreamliner will add more pressure to the ongoing capacity squeeze caused by a mismatch between the number of travellers and the number of available seats in the sky, as the double-decker A380 carries significantly more passengers than the Boeing 787, including an extra 28 business class seats and a double-sized premium economy cabin.
Also, starting in late March, if you have a connecting flight, especially to the US east coast, it may be a challenge; QF93’s departure will be in the late evenings, departing Melbourne at 8.25 pm and arriving at LAX at 5.45 pm.
According to the market update released on10 October, Qantas said that the move was part of a “cautious approach to scheduling” designed to ensure that more planes could be “called upon to prevent delays and cancellations.”
Qantas and Jetstar said they would have as many as ten narrow-body, six wide-bodies, and four regional aircraft available at the time.
The extra expense is anticipated to be short-lived, and the capacity may be brought back gradually as confidence grows.
While five further superjumbos are expected back in the Qantas hangars by December 2023, the few that have already returned from desert slumber are still being used on the company’s principal Sydney-Los Angeles and Sydney-London routes.
The QF37/QF38 service between Melbourne and Singapore has been reduced to three weekly flights as part of the same batch of schedule modifications, while the resumption of Sydney’s service to San Francisco has been postponed until May.