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Qantas flies A380 service from Melbourne to Sydney

written by Jake Nelson | February 23, 2024

Craig Murray shot this Qantas A380, VH-OQK, in Sydney.

Qantas has put on a relief flight from Melbourne to Sydney using a spare A380 to mitigate disruptions from severe storms late on Friday.

The airline said QF7168, scheduled to depart Melbourne at 5pm for a 6:40pm arrival, would carry 485 passengers, the equivalent of almost three cancelled Boeing 737-800 aircraft that normally fly the busy route.

Qantas made the move after Airservices Australia limited arrivals and departures at Sydney for all airlines due to severe weather forecast to hit the region.

“These customers were originally travelling on three separate flights from 4pm onwards, so it is unlikely they were travelling to Sydney for tonight’s Taylor Swift concert. A fourth flight has also been cancelled with customers re-accommodated on other Qantas services today,” the Flying Kangaroo said in a statement.

“The A380 being used today is an operational spare that is on standby to ensure there is resilience in the Qantas operation. While this would normally be used to support our international network on flights to places like London and LA, given the incredibly high demand into Sydney today, it is being brought in to support the domestic operation.

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“Our operations teams across our domestic and international network have done a fantastic job to quickly find a solution that ensures customers can still get to Sydney today despite forecast severe weather.”

This is not the first time an A380 has been pressed into service between the two cities, with a fully-fuelled VH-OQL flying from Sydney to Melbourne last March to fill up smaller aircraft to minimise disruptions from a refuellers’ strike at Melbourne.

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