Qantas Will Fly Its A380 to Orlando in January 2020
The most magical place on earth deserves an equally magical mode of transportation, and for a few (hundred) lucky travelers flying from Los Angeles (LAX) to Orlando (MCO) in January 2020, that will take the form of a Qantas A380. Twitter account @Airlinerroute is reporting that Qantas will be flying a one-time A380 service from Sydney to LAX to Orlando on Jan. 19, 2020, returning on Jan. 24.
At the moment, this flight does not appear to be bookable online, and for the LAX to Orlando leg of the flight, Qantas does not have the right to carry passengers. For example, Qantas flies a daily nonstop between Los Angeles and New York as part of its daily Sydney to JFK service , but the LAX-JFK flight cannot be booked separately as Qantas does not have so-called fifth-freedom rights in the US.
So is Qantas looking to launch its longest flight to Orlando? Probably not, or at least not yet. It's much more likely given the leisure demand in Orlando that Qantas has a charter customer for its A380 and is using this one-time flight to position the plane. When Qantas announced its points plane, an entire A380 flight bookable using points and miles, it was also positioning the aircraft around a charter service.
Still, we can't rule out the possibility that Qantas is exploring a more permanent route to Orlando. Qantas has been actively working on "project sunrise," its ambitious plan to launch nonstop flights from Australia to New York and London. Sydney to Orlando clocks in at 9,346 miles, about 200 miles shorter than the world's longest flight between Singapore and Newark. This route would be just out of the published range of the Boeing 787-9 that Qantas uses for its longest flights. There's also the fact that if Qantas were exploring the viability of service to Orlando, a one-off flight using its 484-seat A380 might not be the best way to test this new route.
TPG has reached out to Qantas for comment but hasn't heard back at the time of publication. We'll update this post with additional information.