First Qantas A380 Arrives In Orlando

The First Ever Qantas Airbus A380 Arrives In Orlando

Earlier today, QF17 from Sydney to Los Angeles to Orlando touched down marking Qantas A380’s first ever visit to the Florida airport.

The A380, VH-OQE, has already left Orlando with no passengers and is currently approaching Los Angeles to be stationed on a flight back to Australia.

  • This was a special charter flight for Woolworths, a large Australian supermarket chain.
  • Woolworths had a giveaway for 116 winners that could take up to four people including themselves to spend a few days in Orlando’s Disney World.
  • Each prize includes a five day Walt Disney World Resort ticket with the “Park Hopper Plus” option, a five night accommodation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, four $500 USD Disney gift cards and “an exclusive Qantas experience, with return chartered flights and transfers to Orlando”.

This is not the last time Qantas’ A380 will visit Orlando, so if you missed today’s flight, get ready!

In less than 5 days on January 24, Qantas will once again fly its A380 to Orlando to pick up the passengers to return to Sydney and beyond.

While the arrival time is unknown, the A380 is scheduled to depart from Orlando at 6:00 p.m.

More Images/Videos:

(All images by MCO Airport’s Twitter)



Must’ve been an amazing experience for spotters in the area!

Who knows, Orlando could one day be on Qantas’ Project Sunrise list for nonstop flights. 😃


Very cool, what an experience!!!


Just booked tickets to fly out tomorrow to see this beauty! Hopefully they come to Toronto with an A380 one day!


I’m very happy to see this in MCO it’s amazing!


Interesting, I think I remember seeing this competition somewhere.


You’re flying to Orlando just to see the Qantas A380??

Be sure to send photos!!

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I (kinda) spoke too soon. I forgot school exists. #PetitionToBanSchoolForBigMomentsInAviationHistory


Um… yeah. Besides the fact that money doesn’t grow on trees. Many (unfortunate) blockades with that statement.

Ah well, maybe you’ll see it in the near future!


As much as the A380 brought joy to MCO, it’ll be interesting to see how the economics of this one-time flight was worked out. Was it better to fly the jet onwards to MCO or for it to sit at LAX for 15h?

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Apparently there were 75+ people and some ops pulled up to kick everyone out…I guess most of them just moved further back.


Good on Woolies for this giveaway. I heard about it, the winners are very lucky especially to be on a charter A380! It would be mighty expensive too. Hopefully the next flight utilises an A380 with the new livery as majority of the A380s have made the trip to Abu Dhabi for the repaint.


Really depends on how much Woolworths paid Qantas. The total flight from Sydney to Orlando with a stop in LAX needs to exceed the cost of operating that empty flight back.

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Yeah, this is an unverified account of the situation by someone on Airliners:

I was able to film this plane today but not without some drama…
GOAA=Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
I have flown the QF A380 twice and wanted a close friend to witness what it was all about and this is what happened… here is a copy of the letter I sent to GOAA, Orlando Police and FlightSafety…
Shame on GOAA…Shame on Orlando Police Airport Division and Shame on FlightSafety MCO. Everyone listed should be embarrassed at what happened today to a group of aviation enthusiasts NOT TERRORISTS who simply just wanted to witness, photograph and experience aviation history at Orlando Intl. Approximately 15 minutes prior to the arrival of the special charter Qantas A380 Flight 17, a group of about 75 aviation enthusiasts gathered in the parking lot of Flight Safety and a grassy area for a small glimpse and photographic opportunity of that super jumbo landing. This group included families with children, and aviation enthusiasts of all ages just out to celebrate the A380 arrival. However all hopes were dashed when just a few short minutes before arrival an Orlando Police Department cruiser pulled up to the side of the road and made a blaring PA announcement and ordered everyone to leave the area stating the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority forbids photography of airplanes. Everyone stood it total disbelief. Was this a joke? Those that were closest to the road (across the street and on the non GOAA side ) moved back and safely stood well away from the perimeter road with most if not all retreating back to the Fight Safety parking lot. This was short lived only to be blasted by the police officer pulling into the Flight Safety parking lot and once again threatening immediate arrest of anyone photographing any airplanes landing from the Flight Safety parking lot. We were all several hundred feet from the perimeter fence with a dual lane road between us as well. To make matters worse an official from Flight Safety also asked everyone to leave as he claimed it was a directive by his boss. Lets see, its a Sunday afternoon, the parking lot is empty and absolutely nothing was going on in that parking lot. I guess I can park there tomorrow and film planes all day from that same parking lot for hours and no one will say anything.
I guess its okay to park anywhere directly under the approach path slightly off airport property aligned with any runway to photograph planes,and one would be a lot closer too. I guess I can film airplanes from the many windows in the terminal and that is okay too…How about the many perimeter open areas around the airport. It is most entertaining to know that there were several other photographers up and down Tradeport drive at various vantage points ( Galaxy Aviation, Signature and cargo areas) that got great photos and never harassed. I too had a great vantage point at Cessna Citation right next door and could have easily photographed without any harassment.
So thank you everyone mentioned for spoiling what could have been a great event. You can claim all the security BS you want, and that it is was a danger to the public but anyone with common sense which you all seem to lack will never by that. A nice image you portrayed for the children present seeing all those involved acting like overzealous idiots. My suggestion …in the future if there is any special aviation event that may draw a small crowd like today, treat it like its a presidential visit and seal off the entire area, set up a perimeter of security including the secret service and also include highly trained marksmen, this would be much more impressive then the display of stupidity today.
By the way, I have traveled the world and have visited dozens of foreign airports as well as hundreds around the US that welcome aviation photography with terraces and viewing areas. These are major cities like London, Amsterdam and Sydney…They don’t have a problem taking an airplane picture but Orlando does. Thanks for ruining what could have been a great event…Sad…

Really not good.


Airports are receiving bigger airplanes! WOW!

I think @A350iscool went to go spot this

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Welcome to Florida Qantas

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Never heard of them before, are they new?


If I had to guess, the A388 arrived at 4:30 if it pushed back at 6. KCLT gets daily service with a Lufthansa Airbus A350-900 (soon to be A340-600) and if everything goes to plan it usually pushes back at about 6.

I went to go spot it… didn’t get really any good pictures 😢 but hey, I got a good spot to see it touch down…

Wow! This surprises me for some reason because I feel like they would rather do this with the B789