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Johannesburg Regains Qantas Quadjets As The Airbus A380 Takes Over Sydney Flights


  • Qantas will deploy the A380 to Johannesburg from July 2024 for the first time
  • It will be the longest-ever regular A380 service that is entirely in the Southern Hemisphere
  • Johannesburg last had three airlines with double-decker flights in 2018

Qantas will fly the Airbus A380 to Johannesburg from next July as part of a broad array of changes. Replacing the Boeing 787-9 will result in more than double the number of seats per flight. While the equipment swap is not yet reflected in schedules or booking engines, Johannesburg will join a small group of airports to have A380 flights from three or more airlines.

Qantas A380s to Johannesburg

Australia’s flag carrier will deploy the double-decker quadjet to South Africa for the first time. While it is unclear what exact date this will happen, but it appears to be July 8th.

Of course, the 6,863-mile (11,044 km) route used to see quadjets in the form of Qantas’ retired 747-400. The airline’s last 747-400 flight to Johannesburg was in April 2020.

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When the A380 operates, seats per flight will rise from the current 236 with the 787-9 to 484/485. It will have considerably more capacity than at any other time.


Image: GCMap.

Johannesburg will gain 14 first class seats – up from the present zero – along with a meaningful increase in business and premium economy seats and well over twice as many economy seats. (It is unclear if first class will be sold as such, as it is not on Qantas’ coming A380 flights to/from Hong Kong.)

Currently, July 2024’s schedule is as follows, with all times local:

  • Sydney to Johannesburg: QF63, 09:35-15:40 (14h 5m block time)
  • Johannesburg to Sydney: QF64, 17:40-13:25+1 (11 45m)

Airports with three or more A380 airlines

As of August 21st, 56 airports globally are scheduled to see the A380 next July. This is subject to change as next summer is so far away. Of the 56, only eight will have flights by three or more carriers, as summarized in the following table.

Qantas Airbus A380-800

Photo: G Tipene I Shutterstock.

Note: Lufthansa has not yet scheduled any A380 flights for next summer. Presently, it operates them from Munich to Boston and New York JFK, to switch to Bangkok and Los Angeles this winter. Next summer, Boston and JFK are scheduled to see the A350-900. As Lufthansa’s A380 plans are unknown, I have assumed they will again be used on the same summer routes.


Number of A380 airlines: July 2024*

List of carriers

London Heathrow


British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines

Los Angeles


British Airways, Emirates, Korean Air, Qantas



British Airways, Emirates, Qantas, Singapore Airlines



Emirates, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines



Asiana, Emirates, Singapore Airlines



British Airways, Emirates, Qantas

New York JFK


Emirates, Korean Air, Lufthansa**

Seoul Incheon


Asiana, Emirates, Korean Air

* Subject to change

** See comments above

Where Qantas’ Johannesburg passengers go

According to booking data, Qantas carried approximately 208,000 Johannesburg passengers in 2019, with a seat load factor of 91%. Like many long-haul routes, it had a wide variety of sources of passengers:

  • An estimated 43% transited Sydney (Auckland-Johannesburg was the most popular market)
  • 20% were point-to-point (they only flew between the two cities)
  • 19% ‘bridged,’ so connected in both Sydney and Johannesburg (Auckland-Cape Town was top)
  • An estimated 18% of Sydney passengers transited in Johannesburg (Sydney-Cape Town was by far the most popular)

What do you make of it all? Let us know in the comments.

Sources of information: OAG, booking data, Google Flights.


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