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Qantas doubles its flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles (the A380 is coming back!)

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Following on from the announcement that Qantas will launch a new service between Melbourne and Dallas/Fort Worth later this year, we now have confirmation that the airline is about to double the number of flights that it offers between Melbourne and Los Angeles and that its A380 will be making a very welcome reappearance on this route later in the year.

The Qantas Melbourne – Los Angeles route

As of this week, Qantas is adding a further 4 weekly flights to its Melbourne – Los Angeles route so once the summer season is in full effect (starting next week), this is what the schedule will look like:

QF95 MEL 14:40 – 12:00 LAX (Sun)
QF93 MEL 21:30 – 18:50 LAX (Daily)

QF94 LAX 21:30 – 06:00+2 days MEL (Daily)
QF96 LAX 23:55 – 08:25+2 days MEL (Thu)

For most of the rest of the year, all of these flights will be operated by Qantas 787-9 Dreamliners but Qantas has said that at some point in December, some of these flights will be operated by its refurbished Airbus A380.

Currently, the schedules don’t show the A380 operating this route but it’s great to hear that the aircraft will be returning. When you consider that it wasn’t all that long ago that it felt like the Qantas A380s may never fly again but that it’s now operating to London and Los Angeles from Sydney and that it’s also going to serve the Melbourne – Los Angeles route later this year, that’s quite the comeback by the whale-jet.

The refurbished Qantas A380

The first of the Qantas A380s took to the skies at the end of September 2019 with a new cabin arrangement, new/updated seats in all cabins, and a newly designed onboard lounge area where First Class and Business Class passengers can relax away from their seats.

Onboard, passengers will find…

  • 6 more Business Class seats (70)
  • 25 more Premium Economy seats (60)
  • 30 fewer Economy Class seats (341)
  • A larger onboard lounge with seating for up to 10 passengers
  • New seats (for the A380) in Business Class and Premium Economy
  • The upper deck is now entirely the domain of Business Class and Premium Economy passengers – the Economy Class seats that once occupied the rearmost section of the upper deck are no longer there.

Qantas has chosen to make a few subtle changes to its First Class product rather than to go to the expense of commissioning a new seat and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

a seat in a plane
Qantas New A380 First Class – Image courtesy of Qantas

The seat may not have the privacy of a suite but it’s a very popular product with those who know it well.

Qantas has updated the 14 First Class seats with new contoured cushioning, new seat finishes, and a larger inflight entertainment screen with higher resolution.

Other than that flyers won’t find much to differentiate this seat from the ones found on the un-refurbished aircraft.

As far as the Business Class seats go, Qantas has ripped out the older SkyBed II seats that were past their “best by” date and replaced them with the same Business Class seats you’ll find on the Qantas 787-9 Dreamliners (reviewed here)

a seat in a plane
Qantas New A380 Business Class – Image courtesy of Qantas

This is a noticeable step up for the A380 as the Business Class cabin now offers a 1-2-1 cabin layout (which gives all passengers direct access to one of the aircraft’s two aisles), a considerably more comfortable seat (both in the seated position and the lie-flat position), a larger IFE screen with noticeably higher resolution and, importantly, more storage space than the older SkyBed seat.

Qantas’ new A380 Premium Economy seat is the same seat as you’ll find in the airline’s Dreamliners. These seats are comfortable to sit in, they offer a reasonable amount of storage space and they offer approximately an inch more width than their predecessors….but I know some will be disappointed to find out that Qantas is sticking with the 38″ of legroom that it offers across all its Premium Economy cabins.

a row of seats in an airplane
Qantas New A380 Premium Economy – Image courtesy of Qantas

In the Economy Class cabin, not much appeared to have changed on the refurbished A380s.

The seats appear to be the same Qantas Economy Class seats you’ll find on a number of other aircraft the airline operates although passengers may notice that it offers a new color palette and an improved IFE screen (there are rumors of new seat cushions too but I haven’t heard this confirmed by Qantas).

rows of red seats in an airplane
Qantas New A380 Economy Class – Image courtesy of Qantas

The Economy Class cabin continues to offer the 10-across seating configuration that the aircraft offered before the refurbishment so the legroom on offer remains at 31″ and the seat width remains at 17.5″.

Bottom line

Qantas has confirmed that starting this week, it is doubling the number of flights it offers between Melbourne and Los Angeles (8 flights will now be offered every week) and that it plans to introduce its refurbished Airbus A380 on this route in December of this year.

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