In an encouraging sign of overseas travel demand, Qatar Airways is once again flying the Airbus A380 between Sydney and Doha. The superjumbo jet sports eight First Class suites, 48 fully-flat seats in Business Class and a staggering 461 Economy seats across both decks.
Of course, there’s a trade-off – the A380 doesn’t have Qatar Airways’ famed Qsuites in Business Class. But high-flying travellers can still cool off at the onboard bar, which the airline calls the ‘Sanctuary Lounge Bar’.
Passengers in Economy should also feel more comfortable, with a slightly wider seat width of 18.5 inches (47cm). That’s about 3 cm more than the other jets. And with long-haul flying, every centimetre counts.
How to book the Qatar Airways Airbus A380
Keen to experience this for yourself? Just hop on Qatar Airways’ daily 15-hour flights between Sydney and Doha. QR908 pushes back at 8:40 pm and lands in Sydney at 5:15 pm the following evening. After a few hours on the ground, QR909 takes off from Sydney at 9:10 pm to arrive in Doha at 4:45 am the next day.
The airline switched its loyalty currency to Avios in March 2022 and also released a big swathe of reward seats at the same time, many of which were quickly snapped up by eager Point Hacks readers.
If you want to use your points now, our advice is to book as far out as possible. You can lock in Qatar Airways reward seats up to 353 days in advance with Qantas Points. If you have Avios, use them with Qatar Airways Privilege Club to get the best availability and lowest co-payments.
Qatar Airways is also coming on board as a Virgin Australia partner, so we expect to be able to use Velocity Points to book the Airbus A380 experience. But with Virgin’s booking calendar only opening 330 days in advance, you’ll have to rely on a good dose of luck to get those coveted rewards.
Example: Qatar Airways First Class from Sydney to Paris
With Qatar Airways also flying the Airbus A380 onwards to Paris and London, you can get a First Class reward all the way from Sydney. Here are the points or Avios you’ll need:
|Route/Program||Qantas Points||Avios||Velocity Points*|
|Sydney to London, Paris (via Doha)||227,500||135,000||~203,000|
You certainly get the best value flying all the way from Sydney to London or Paris, especially with Avios. Plus, booking this fare gets you access to the excellent Qantas Sydney International First Lounge and the Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Lounge in Doha. Both easily rank among the best First Class lounges around the world.
If you want a taste of the luxe life, then you can’t go past Qatar Airway’s Airbus A380. Sure, there aren’t the fancy Business Class Qsuites with sliding doors. But you get First Class reward availability and an inflight bar, for starters. Meanwhile, Business Class still features a decent fully-flat bed and direct aisle access.
Add to that Qatar Airways’ excellent onboard service with dine-on-demand in Business and First? We’ll toast to that.