Qantas Airways (IATA: QF) says that its refurbishment plan for its 12 Airbus A380s is still on track despite the coronavirus crisis. With three aircraft already refurbished, there are still 9 superjumbos remaining. The carrier's timeline, according to Executive Traveller, is still on track.
Qantas Airways is the Australian flag carrier and competes against Virgin Australia, the country's second largest airline. Virgin Australia, however, is reported to be examining the possibility of entering into administration after having entered a trade halt on Tuesday. Indeed, while Qantas is in a better shape than its smaller competitor, it is also feeling the impact of the coronavirus crisis. The Australian government yesterday announced that it would be subsidising 200 weekly domestic flights, safeguarding a number of jobs for the near future. Those plans came into effect today.
Qantas originally planned to complete the refurbishment process for its Airbus A380s by the end of 2020 or early 2021. The refurbishment includes new first class and business class cabins as well as refreshed premium economy seats in addition to two new onboard lounges.
As of yet, three aircraft have been refurbished with a further 3 undergoing refurbishment as we speak. While the airline expects to have the remaining 6 aircraft refurbished in the coming months, many believe this could be pushed back.
Various airlines have announced their intentions to temporarily retire aircraft with doubts about their return to service dates. This includes Lufthansa, who yesterday announced that they would be temporarily withdrawing their Airbus A340-600 fleet for at least one year, citing the coronavirus.
Indeed, long-haul travel is expected to see the slowest comeback as airlines struggle to pursuade customers to resume flying. Therefore, according to Executive Traveller, the program could 'stretch' into 2021.