Airlines and the travel industry has been particularly adversely affected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
With borders closed, Qantas airlines has terminated long haul flights resulting in Australia being hit by the pandemic specifically.
Qantas has put most of its long haul aircraft in storage in California.
- All A380s have been stored, with no plans to fly them in the coming few years
- Most 787s have been stored. These are likely to be reactivated before A380s, it’ll be at least a year before any more of these planes will be flying again
Many pilots have been sacked as a result of this.
13 Qantas pilots become bus drivers
At least 13 pilots from the airline have transitioned from Airbuses to regular buses.
Australian news program “The Project” had a fascinating interview with two Qantas pilots talking about their journeys. The two combined spent 62 years flying jets.
One was a Qantas A380 captain who delivered the first ever A380 12 years ago. This marked the highlight of his career. The other one was a Qantas A380 first officer who flew the last A380 flight back from London.
The A380 captain talks about his experience flying a plan to the Mojave:
“I think going to the Mojave was probably one of the most difficult things, you know, taking that first aircraft that I delivered to the desert. And it’ll probably stay there, won’t come back, we all cried. You know, there’s 10 A380s parked in Victorville, parked in the dirt, the tumbling tumbleweeds being blown by the wind. Then you pan away from our 10 aircraft, and there’s 700 or 800 airplanes.”
The pilots spoke about how flying a plane takes concentration for short periods of time along with getting a few breaks in-between. Whereas a bus takes concentration for long periods of time.
It’s inspiring to see how these Qantas pilots have made the best of the situation, transitioning from Airbuses to buses.