Qantas (QF, Sydney Kingsford Smith) still plans to complete the cabin retrofit of all twelve A380-800s by the end of 2020, or early 2021 in case of manufacturer delays, despite the ongoing grounding of the airline and the uncertain future of its large-widebody fleet, the Executive Traveller has reported.

The Australian airline has already retrofitted three A380-800s with new passenger seats across all four classes. A further three are currently undergoing cabin outfitting (two in Dresden and one in Abu Dhabi Int'l). The remaining six are due to undergo this process in the coming months.

The knock-on effects of the pandemic affecting the supply chain could extend the duration of the refurbishment programme into 2021.

Last year, Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce said that Qantas was committed to operating the A380s through the late-2020s. However, the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked rumours about potential early retirement of the type.

The airline owns all twelve A380-800s, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows. The Airbus quadjets operated by Qantas are 10.7 years old on average and are used on services from Sydney Kingsford Smith and Melbourne Tullamarine to London Heathrow (via Singapore Changi) and Los Angeles Int'l, and from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Qantas has also not confirmed that it will not be resuming the operation of its four remaining B747-400(ER)s once the crisis abates.

"There is still potential for the B747s to be used for chartered flights and there's been no confirmation we will not put them back into service once we get through this period of downturn," the company said in a statement to ch-aviation.