Qantas to raise London-Sydney frequency with fourth A380

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Qantas is to raise its Airbus A380 services from London Heathrow to Sydney to five-weekly from 8 June this year.

Announcing the increase today in London, to highlight the importance of the UK capital to the airline's A380 operation, Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti said the new services would become possible with the delivery of the fourth A380 in May.

"We had pretty high [A380] expectations and they have been surpassed significantly," he says. "On Sydney-Los Angeles we have a Boeing 747 and A380 [operating] together - the [A380's] seat load factor is three or four points higher than the 747's, so that says something."

Borghetti says it is too early to evaluate A380 cost savings but he is generally pleased with the ability of airports to cope with the infrastructure challenges of handling its 450-seat aircraft.

"Sydney and Melbourne are very good, Singapore is very, very good, Los Angeles has some challenges in general and Heathrow is going through enormous changes," he says.

Borghetti says he "does not anticipate any delays" in delivery of further A380 aircraft. Qantas expects to receive four more of the type by the end of the year.