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Qantas to squeeze more seats into Airbus A380s and Boeing 747s

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, seating, Airbus A380, Boeing 747, a380, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 747-400ER

Qantas is sending 21 of its flagship Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-400 aircraft back into the hangars for a refit which will put more seats onto each plane.

The overhaul of nine Boeing 747-400s has been on the cards for over a year, and will see all 14 first class seats removed from the pointy end of the plane to make way for a dramatic boost in the number of economy seats.

The rejigged jumbos are said to sport 270 seats in economy class – some 83 seats more than the current Pacific configuration for the long-range Boeing 747-400ERs. The number of business class seats will drop by eight, from 66 down to 58, while the premium economy cabin is trimmed from 40 seats to 36.

The refit will include all six of the 747-400ERs, some of which currently ply the long-distance Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth route, plus the three most recent 747-400s delivered from 1999-2000.

The bulk of Qantas' original Boeing 747 fleet, which rolled off the assembly line some 20 years ago, is being retired so that these nine upgraded 747s will remain in service by 2013.

In addition to the revamped cabin layout, new seats and fixtures designed for the A380 will be installed — including the fully-flat Skybed II seat-beds in business class (above), Recaro seats in premium economy and economy, self-service refreshment bars (below) and a new inflight entertainment system from tip to tail.

As previously reported by Australian Business Traveller, Qantas will reconfigure its second tranche of Airbus 380 deliveries by ditching the luxurious first class cabin in favour of more business and premium economy seats, boosting the total seat count from 450 up to 484.



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 9/6/11 by AusFlyer

"However, if The Australian is correct then this means the Red Roo's first dozen A380s – which are already in the air – will also be revamped to squeeze an extra 34 seats onto the floorplan."

I'm not sure that's correct.... That means all the A380's will have the First Class removed and I'm pretty sure that's not the case....

If 21 planes are being reconfigured and there are nine 744's in the mix then surely that means only 12 of the A380's are going to sport the higher density configuration so doesn't that mean only four existing A380's will be "revamped"?


1 on 9/6/11 by David

Yes, that's why we flagged this as well – QF has been steadfast that First will remain in A380s for LAX and London - but we're quoting the numbers from The Australian and are seeking clarification from Qantas.

1 on 9/6/11 by AusFlyer

Ahh... I see what you mean... The Australian has said "reconfigured" therefore implying that it is changing the existing fleet.

It's late in the day so I'm a bit slow on the uptake!

1 on 9/6/11 by David

Hey, I missed my afternoon coffee so right now I know exactly how you feel!

2 on 9/6/11 by dkr

eight superjumbos sitting on the Airbus order book will ditch their luxurious first class cabin and be built with only business, premium economy and economy class seating.

Or, if you will, First, Business and Economy...

Qantas goes full circle to amenity and seating levels pretty much where they were 15-20 years ago (except "First" is now flat bed, "Business" is back to being a big wide comfy seat with greater pitch and economy is the same old economy...).


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