The first of Qantas’ upgraded Airbus A380s
(VH-OQK) has entered service.
The multimillion-dollar upgrade of 12 aircraft
includes new seating across expanded Business and Premium Economy
cabins and a refresh of the aircraft’s First and Economy seating.
The on-board lounge has also been redesigned.
Smarter use of space has created an all premium
class upper deck - now occupied by Business and Premium Economy -
and an expanded on-board lounge. There are now 30 fewer Economy
seats and an increase in premium seating by 27%.
elements of the upgrade include:
- The introduction of the Qantas
Business Suite, replacing the previous Skybeds, in a 1:2:1
configuration that now gives aisle access to every passenger.
- The installation of the new Premium Economy seat (first debuted on
the Qantas Dreamliner) and increasing the number of seats from 35
- A larger on-board lounge space with seating for up to 10
Business and First passengers.
- An update to the 14 First Class
Suites with new contoured cushioning, seat finishes and a larger,
higher resolution entertainment screen.
- A new colour palette
for the Economy cabin (pictured) and improved inflight entertainment.
Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, said, “The A380 is
a crucial part of our long-haul fleet and this upgrade program
will see customers enjoy everything the aircraft has to offer for
years to come. It also provides an increase in Business and
Premium Economy seating to help match the demand we’re seeing on
our long-haul routes. Working with Airbus, we’ve been able to
use the cabin space more efficiently and improve the economics of
the aircraft while also providing a better experience in every
part of the aircraft. By the end of this upgrade, we’ll have
next-generation seating across our entire long-haul fleet of
A380s, A330s and 787s.”
capacity of Qantas A380s after the upgrade will be: 14 First
Suites (unchanged), 70 Business Suites (up by six), 60 Premium
Economy (up by 25) and 341 Economy (down by 30) for a total of 485
passengers (up by one).
A further two A380 aircraft are expected to
undergo refurbishment before the end of 2019 and Qantas expects to complete the refurbishment of the
remaining 11 aircraft by the end of 2020. Each
aircraft takes approximately eight weeks to upgrade.