Qantas will upgrade the cabin interiors of 30 Airbus A330s at its Brisbane heavy maintenance base, CEO Alan Joyce has announced.
Joyce, in Brisbane on Wednesday to open a $30 million hangar upgrade, said the A330 interior refit program will run from late 2014 through to mid 2016.
“From late 2014, we will be upgrading all 30 of our Airbus A330s with Business Suites with fully flat beds. Ten A330-300s for Qantas International will feature new Economy seats and 20 A330-200s for Qantas Domestic will see their economy seats refurbished,” he said.
“It will take around 30 days for each aircraft to get upgraded and we expect the program to be completed in mid-2016.”
The hangar upgrade, meanwhile, was undertaken to facilitate Qantas 737 heavy maintenance, which has been moved from Tullamarine to Brisbane
Said Joyce: “The $30 million upgrade to the Brisbane facilities includes the installation of advanced equipment to enable Qantas’s fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft to undergo heavy maintenance in the facility.”
Joyce also announced that Qantas is recruiting 30 new engineering apprentices, over 20 of which will be based in Brisbane with a smaller number in Sydney.
The expansion of its Brisbane base has come as Qantas has rationalised its heavy maintenance facilities from three sites to one, with the closure of the 737 maintenance base at Melbourne-Tullamarine in August 2012 and the impending closure of the Avalon 747 heavy maintenance facility next March, confirmed earlier this month. Today Qantas performs heavy maintenance on more than 110 Boeing 737s, 767s and A330s at Brisbane, while A380 heavy maintenance is outsourced offshore, as is expected to be the case with 747 maintenance, once Avalon closes.