Qantas' fleet of 12 Airbus A380s will be getting a major multi-million dollar cabin upgrade, with an emphasis on passenger comfort on long haul flights. Changes include redesigned seating configurations, new in-flight passenger lounges and larger entertainment screens.
However, the bulk of the improvements appear to be geared towards first, business and premium economy passengers. Here's what you need to know.
During its full year financial result this morning, Qantas announced a major cabin upgrade for its fleet of 12 Airbus A380s.
The refurbishment program comes on the back of near-record profits of $1,401 million (before tax) for Qantas. This is a 17 per cent drop in overall profits compared to last year, but still represents the second highest performance in the airline’s 97-year history.
The cabin redesigns will incorporate structural changes to the upper deck that will allow six business class and 25 premium economy seats to be added to each airbus. This will increase the overall seat count by one with a 27 per cent seating boost to premium economy.
“This upgrade is a major investment in putting the next generation of seats on the aircraft as well as more creature comforts to maintain [A380's] status as one of the best ways to fly,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.
Other changes include the installation of Qantas’ business suites, direct aisle access for all business class seats, new 2-3-2 seat configurations for premium economy, a larger passenger lounge for first and business class customers and fully refurbished first class cabins with contoured cushioning and a larger, higher resolution entertainment screen.
As for cattle class, the improvements are limited to "new seat cushions" and "improved inflight entertainment". (No details of the latter were given.)
Joyce said the focus on premium economy and business class was prompted by increased demand from customers on the long haul flights. Qantas expects the growing trend of people using their Qantas points to upgrade to premium economy will see demand for these seats continue to rise.
All 12 aircraft will be upgraded by the end of 2020. You an find out more about the new premium economy seats here.
Last week, we brought you the news about Qantas' fancy new premium economy seats. The redesigned for the 787 Dreamliner are 10 per cent wider than the existing premium economy cabin on its Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 superjumbo, and also boast a deeper recline. Here are more details.