The State Of The World

The first Qantas A380 flies to US plane graveyard

You cannot make this up. The glory days of jetting and cruising are gone and never to return. World trips are a yesterday thing. Even going state to state is now finished as every time you cross a state border you are up for a $3000 hotel quarantine bill. This isn’t quite total lock down yet. Changi airport in Singapore once considered the jewel in the crown of Asian travel would now be a totally deserted ghost tow, No planes landing there.

Qantas to slash 6,000 jobs in virus recovery plan

Australia’s Qantas Airways said on Thursday (June 25) it is axing at least 20% of its workforce and plans to raise up to A$1.9 billion ($1.30 billion) of equity as part of drastic measures in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The first of a dozen Qantas A380s has landed at the airliner graveyard at the Southern California Logistics Airport in the High Desert, US.

The Australian long-haul airline is parking its A380 Airbus fleet at the Victorville airport while its international flying is in hiatus while many in the airline industry are asking whether the A380s will ever leave the graveyard again, Simple Flying reported..

On July 6, the Qantas aircraft “VH-OQE Lawrence Hargrave”, operating as “QF6001,” left Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport and flew nonstop to Victorville.

The 13,150-kilometre transpacific hop that crossed the International Date Line took just under 14 hours to complete before landing at 11.02am the same day in Victorville.

Crew members leave a Qantas Airbus A380 after it arrived at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.
MATT HARTMAN/AP
Crew members leave a Qantas Airbus A380 after it arrived at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.

The plane has sat idle in Melbourne since mid-March after operating a commercial flight from Los Angeles. As of July 7, the 11 remaining Qantas A380s were grounded at several locations, including two in Melbourne, three in Sydney, three in Los Angeles, two in Dresden and one is in Abu Dhabi.

While no-one was expecting the Qantas A380s to take to the air and fly passengers anytime soon, Qantas boss Alan Joyce further dampened any expectations in a news conference in late June, saying,

“The aircraft are 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,”

Joyce added that “the A380s have to remain on the ground for at least three years until we see those international volumes brought back. There is a potential to bring all 12 A380s back, but there is a potential to bring less than 12 back”.

A Qantas Airbus A380 prepares to land at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.
MATT HARTMAN/AP
A Qantas Airbus A380 prepares to land at Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville.

Covid-19 has also seen Qantas resetting its messaging. The future scenario Qantas now paints for its A380s and international flying is in general rather gloomy, Simple Flying reported.

“We think international will take a long time – nothing this next financial year– and next July, we may start to see some international services and that will only get us to 50 per cent the following year,” said Joyce.

But with no resumption of A380 services on the horizon, the pace of relocating the planes to Victorville could pick up, Simple Flying said.

Located about 145 kilometres northeast of Los Angeles on the site of the former George Air Force Base, SCLA is known as a graveyard, but also as an extensive maintenance and logistics hub.

The parking of the Qantas A380s at SCLA is part of significant changes at Qantas. The airline’s last Boeing 747 is leaving in mid-July. An airline that was synonymous with big planes is now boasting A330s and Boeing 787-9s as its big capacity planes.

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/122112993/the-first-qantas-a380-flies-to-us-plane-graveyard

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