Qantas to Grow A380 Fleet and Launch Melbourne-London A380 Services

Melbourne, 22 December 2009

Qantas announced today it had taken delivery of its fifth new A380 aircraft, with a sixth to arrive in coming days, and would commence A380 services between Melbourne and London via Singapore on 18 January, 2010.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alan Joyce, said the arrival of the airline's fifth A380 yesterday, and sixth aircraft in the New Year, would allow it to launch the new A380 route.

"Qantas' inaugural A380 service in October 2008 was between Melbourne and Los Angeles," Mr Joyce said.

"With the arrival of two new aircraft, growing our A380 fleet to six, we are pleased to be able to offer customers a second route option out of Melbourne - to London via Singapore."

From 18 January, the A380 will operate one to two flights per week on the route (QF9 on Mondays and Sundays and the return QF10 on Fridays and Saturdays), with regular twice-weekly flights to commence on 29 March.

The fifth Qantas A380 is named Lawrence Hargrave, after the inventor of the box kite. The airline's sixth A380, is named Charles Kingsford-Smith, after Australia's most famous aviator who made the first trans-Pacific flight from the USA to Australia in 1928. Both will enter service in January.

Mr Joyce said that, with a six-strong fleet, Qantas' A380 schedule from 29 March would be:
* Sydney-Los Angeles services - daily services (currently four per week);
* Sydney-Singapore-London - five services per week;
* Melbourne-Los Angeles - three services per week (currently two per week); and
* Melbourne-Singapore-London - two services per week.

"More than 500,000 people have now flown on Qantas A380 services, and it remains extremely popular with our customers," he said.

"The arrival of these new, state-of-the aircraft, with their cabins designed by Marc Newson, will see Qantas serving both the UK and Los Angeles with A380 flights from Melbourne and Sydney."

Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915) was one of aviation's most important inventors and innovators. He came to Australia from England in 1872 and is best remembered as the inventor of the box kite in 1894. His aviation insights were wide-ranging, including the curved wing and the radial rotary engine.

Charles Kingsford-Smith (1897-1935) is considered to have pioneered more long distance routes than any pilot in history. He made the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia in 1928, as well as the first non-stop crossing of the Australian mainland, the first flight between Australia and New Zealand, and the first from Australia across the Pacific to the United States in 1934.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3996)