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Photos: Qantas updates Boeing 767 fleet with iPad-friendly seats

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, iPad, Boeing 767

Qantas will fast-track a refresh of its Boeing 767 fleet between now and March 2013, with a spruced-up interior intended to give the ageing jets a fresh look and feel.

The airline says the new Marc Newson interiors offer a "contemporary design", while the free availability of iPads for inflight entertainment adds an undeniably modern touch.

The business class seats have been re-covered with charcoal leather upholstery.

In economy the tones are a muted aubergine.

Other enhancements include new carpet, curtains and dividers plus brighter lighting in all cabins.

But take a closer look at the rear of the seats, which in both business and economy have been fitted with a special iPad holder built into the upholstery.

Each of the Qantas-issued iPads – which are third-gen Retina models, available free to every passenger from tip to tail – comes with a flipcase (coloured in Qantas red, natch) which folds back and slides into a slot on the headrest, so you can keep enjoying that movie or TV show during meals.

Of course, if you're one of the many flyers who packs their own tablet, most covers should also slot in there.

Qantas will refresh 16 of the 19 Boeing 767s in its fleet, with the other three jets being retired from service.

“These aircraft look and feel like new and we expect these changes to be very popular with our customers,” said Lyell Strambi, CEO of Qantas Domestic.

The work is being carried out at Qantas' Brisbane Heavy Maintenance base, and with each refit taking a little more than two weeks the airline says the entire overhaul will be finished "six months earlier than originally planned."

Each of the aircraft will roll out of the base equipped with the Q Streaming system to beam movies, TV shows and music beamed via WiFi to each tablet.

Here's a video of Q Streaming in action, which AusBT shot during the first trials of the technology earlier this year, when it was based on the original Lufthansa Systems' implementation of Q Streaming (however, Qantas since chose Panasonic Avionics Corporation's eXW system for the fleet-wide rollout of Q Streaming.)

Read: Our photo-gallery walkthough of Q Streaming plus some 'behind the scenes' details

The first refreshed 767 is already flying on on the 'triangle' route between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as from the east coast cities to Perth.

If you happen to catch it, drop back and tell us what you thought of the make-over and the in-flight iPad system.

Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.


About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 1/11/12 by John

Anyone else peering at that seat-mounted tablet in Economy and wondering about the size of it?

1 on 1/11/12 by AusFlyer

Looks like a standard size iPad to me.... 

2 on 1/11/12 by Darren

I think it is just the angle.  Apple have only just launched the smaller iPad.  However QF are using iPad 2's.

3 on 1/11/12 by Peter

I think they're the normal sized iPads. The economy seats (remember, it's a 2-3-2 config as opposed to 2-2-2 in business) at the window are more narrow than the business seats, so they make the iPad look smaller too.

4 on 1/11/12 by David

They're definitely normal-sized iPads, and in fact QF tells us they are third-gen iPad (with high-def Retina screen) compared to the iPad 2 used during the trial.

2 on 1/11/12 by Peter

The design/print on the bulkhead and curtains remind me of the carpet and doors in the First lounges! Love the new look! :)

3 on 2/11/12 by les

when are these going back on the Tasman?

4 on 2/11/12 by Des

Those old 767's are nothing but flying cake tins that rattle and shake like crazy. I can't see a refurbed interior enchancing a flight on an old crate. Would they not have been better to upgarde these for Jetstar and keep the 787's? Seems the so called premium brand is just getting a cheap and nasty makeover.

5 on 2/11/12 by eastcoastflyer

As far as I know VH-OGQ is the only one doing the rounds with the new interior- flew it to Per on Tues in J.  Yes its an old plane, but theyre reliable.  The seats and the interior are great.  We were apparently the second flight testing the iPad (which are standard size).  They had a flew glitches with it, but its pretty good.  You can use your own iPad if you have one.  Everyone knows they're replacing the 767, but until they do, these are now HEAPS better than they were....

1 on 2/11/12 by mb68

Can anyone on here tell me how old these 767,s are? My guess over 20 years? Seriously QF? Once the proud owners of the youngest fleet in the Australian skys, and now? I agree wih ECF that they could only be better inside cabin, but what about the rest of the craft i.e. engins, mechanics , hydrolics ect? . Re IPads , I would assume they were also a cost cutting excersise , much cheaper than an inbuilt screen.. 

1 on 2/11/12 by eastcoastflyer

Well that one rolled off the production line on the 15th July 1996 which makes it 16 years old.  Which beats the 747 we flew back on by 7 years which was built in Sep 1989.  I'd hate to see the hour meter on either of them......  BUT, they are still pretty reliable 

2 on 2/11/12 by John

If you're interested in that kind of detail, my go-to resource is, which is easier to hunt through than the official Australian aircraft regulators' sites.

Rest assured that many airlines are continuing to safely operate aircraft the age of Qantas' 767s and older.

1 on 16/11/12 by mb68

I agree with John that many airlines have aircraft that age and beyond, but when given a choice, especially in Australia domestic travel , well I think the average punter might decided and new seat in an old aircraft is not so great value. As for the 747,s hmm thats another story. Most airlines seem to be discontinuing those.(fianally)


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