12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
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Qantas is to increase the number of premium seats by 27 per cent when it refurbishes its fleet of 12 Airbus A380s.
The Australian carrier has released plans to renovate the cabins onboard the aircraft over the next few years.
While Qantas plans to maintain the same number of first class suites at 14, it will increase business class seats from 64 to 70, while premium economy will be enlarged from 35 to 60 seats.
To make room for the extra premium economy seats, Qantas will remove 30 economy seats to reduce the total from 371 to 341 seats on the refurbished A380.
The refurbishment programme will begin in the second quarter of 2019 with all 12 aircraft due to be upgraded by the end of 2020.
Among the changes, Qantas will install the latest Business Suites in business class on the A380s – all of which will have direct aisle access. While a new premium economy seat will offer 10 per cent extra width.
Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Group, said: “We’re seeing increased demand for premium economy and business class on the long-haul routes that the A380 operates, including from people using their Qantas points to upgrade.
“When more travellers experience these new seats, we expect that demand will keep rising.”
The lounge for first and business class passengers on the upper deck is also being redesigned to provide more room.
In a separate move, Qantas has announced that four 787-9 Dreamliners will be based in Brisbane from 2018.
The company said this would "open up new potential international routes" such as Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco in the US, Vancouver in Canada, as well as Asian destinations.
The aircraft will arrive at the Queensland airport between the middle and end of 2018.