Australia's Qantas Airways is to start using the Airbus A380 on services to London Heathrow via Singapore from the middle of January after taking delivery of its third of the ultra-large aircraft type later this month.

The Oneworld alliance carrier says in a statement that its third A380 is due to be delivered on 27 December and it will be used on three return services per week between Sydney and London via Singapore from 16 January.

Qantas put its first A380 into service in October to the US west coast and it took delivery of its second A380 yesterday. The carrier says the second aircraft is due to arrive in Sydney tomorrow and it will be used for services between Melbourne and Los Angeles and between Sydney and Los Angeles from 22 December.

"The first Qantas A380 has been operating up to three services a week between Melbourne, Sydney and Los Angeles since October, and its performance has more than matched our expectations, with customer feedback extremely positive," says executive general manager John Borghetti.

Qantas says it is scheduled to take delivery of four more A380s in 2009. It ordered 20 of the type for delivery through 2013.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news