Qantas will refurbish 16 of its 23 Boeing 767 aircraft with new interiors and IPad-based entertainment systems while phasing out the remaining seven.
The surviving jets, used mostly on east coast domestic routes, will get new-look cabins featuring a ‘contemporary design,’ leather seat covers in business class and new carpets, lighting, curtains and dividers.
The aircraft will also get Qantas’s QStreaming in-flight entertainment system, which was trialled earlier this year. The system provides some 200 hours of wireless content to airline-provided IPads.
Qantas Domestic chief Lyell Strambi said the airline is “looking at ways to evolve this technology platform even further with our partner Panasonic to bring new standards of in-flight entertainment to our customers.”
The first of the overhauled 767s is scheduled to enter service in October. Qantas also expects to add a new Airbus A330 and two new Boeing 737-800s to its domestic fleet this year.
Qantas had expected to replaced its 767s with more fuel efficient 787 Dreamliners by 2010 when it ordered the 787s in 2005. But long delays in the 787 program have left Qantas — like many other Boeing customers — scrambling to keep older aircraft in service longer than expected. Delivery of the first Qantas Group 787, which will be handed over to Jetstar under current plans, is now expected sometime next year.