Qantas revealed an all-new business class that will be fitted to all its international and domestic Airbus A330s from late 2014, as well as new economy class seats for its 10 international A330-300s, “refreshed” economy class seats for 20 domestic A330-200s, and new interiors for five Boeing 717s to be deployed on Canberra services.
The A330’s new Marc Newson-designed ‘business suites’ will be set in a 1-2-1 abreast configuration meaning aisle access for every seat. The seats extend to a fully flat bed, and Qantas says that “uniquely” the seats can be left in a recline position for takeoff and landing. The aircraft will also feature Panasonic inflight entertainment systems and Qantas’s Q-Streaming service where content can be streamed wirelessly to passenger’s iPads and similar devices.
“With this business suite we have focused on delivering an intuitive design that meets the needs of our customers travelling in Asia, and creating a cabin experience that provides privacy and a considered space to work, rest or sleep,” Qantas creative designer, Marc Newson, said.
The A330-300s are predominantly used on services to Asia, the A330-200s (12 of which are being transferred from Jetstar to Qantas) on transcontinental and domestic trunk routes. The reconfiguration will apply a consistency of product across the Qantas fleet, particularly for business class travellers on domestic routes, where some A330s feature the airline’s ‘Skybed’ lay flat seat and others a traditional recliner seat.
Qantas also announced the cabin product of the five 717s being acquired to operate on routes from Canberra to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane replacing retiring 737-400s. The aircraft will feature a 12-seat, four-abreast business class cabin and iPad entertainment to every seat, plus 98 economy class seats. The five newly acquired 717s will enter service during the 2014 financial year, while the airline’s existing 13 717s will be upgraded with new, all-economy interiors.