Qantas Makes Changes to A380 and B747-400 Fleet

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Thursday, 18 February 2010

Qantas is investing A$400 million to upgrade seats and inflight entertainment on nine Boeing 747-400 aircraft, and reconfigure its Airbus A380 fleet.

"Customer feedback on the Qantas A380 experience is overwhelmingly positive, and this experience, including the fully flat Skybed in Business, the all-new Economy seat and the inflight entertainment system will be available to customers travelling on Qantas B747-400 services," said Qantas Chief Executive Officer, Mr Alan Joyce. "Maintaining a First offering on flagship routes is essential for Qantas as a premium airline. It is vital that we align this offering with forecast demand which is expected to be relatively slow compared to Business, Premium Economy and Economy"

Boeing 747-400 Changes

- Nine Boeing 747-400 will be upgraded and fitted with Qantas' A380 standard seats and inflight product, including a fully flat Skybed sleeper seat in Business, an Marc Newson designed and Recaro manufactured seat in Economy and state-of-the-art on-demand Panasonic inflight entertainment in all classes

- First class cabins will be removed and Business seats installed in their place

- The three-class configuration will offer 359 seats (58 Business, 36 Premium Economy and 265 Economy), an increase of 52 seats overall

Airbus A380 Changes

- 12 A380s will continue to fly with a four-class configuration, including First class, but be refitted to reduce Business seating and increase Premium Economy and Economy seating. Qantas' 14 A380. The twelve aircraft service Sydney and Melbourne to London via Singapore and Los Angeles.

- The remaining eight aircraft will be delivered from 2012 in a three-class configuration and without a First cabin

- A380 seat numbers on future Qantas aircraft are still to be confirmed

The upgrade and reconfiguration program will commence at the end of 2011 and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. It will be funded through the combination of operating cash flows and pre-existing debt facilities. The majority of capital expenditure will take place in 2012.

"These changes will ensure we remain competitive in terms of aircraft configuration, product and service and that we are better able to ensure capacity is more closely aligned with demand ... They will also add the equivalent capacity of more than three Boeing 747-400s, ensuring we can support future growth while reducing the need to purchase additional aircraft," Mr Joyce said. "The split A380 fleet will give Qantas greater flexibility to schedule the right aircraft, and the right configuration, on the right route, based on market demand."

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