Qantas CEO confirms Airbus A380 seat upgrade

Qantas CEO confirms Airbus A380 seat upgrade

UPDATE | Qantas will overhaul its Airbus A380 fleet from 2019 in a million-dollar make-over which will see all-new business class and premium economy seats plus a refresh of the first class suites.

PREVIOUS | Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has confirmed that the airline's flagship Airbus A380 fleet will be upgraded with new seats.

The much-anticipated refresh would likely see the superjumbo fitted with similar seats to the airline's Boeing 787-9 fleet in business class, premium economy and economy.

Speaking at a press conference for the airline's July-December financial result – which saw Qantas record a pretax profit of $852 million – Joyce said "we are (currently) working through our plans for upgrading the A380."

Joyce described such upgrades as typically taking place "when aircraft get to middle of their life... so you can expect over next year or so for us to comment on where this is going and when it will happen. But it will happen."

PREVIOUS | Qantas could begin upgrading its Airbus A380 fleet as early as 2018, with the superjumbos seeing new seats from tip to tail in order to sharpen their competitive edge on routes to the USA and London.

The airlines is believed to be planning an extensive A380 refurbishment program to fit the latest-generation seats created for the Qantas Boeing 787-9 – or a future evolution of same – to the double-decker jets.

It's notable that by the time Qantas' first Boeing 787-9 arrives in October 2017, the airline's original Airbus A380 will be close to ten years old – the point at which airlines typically begin a mid-life refresh for their largest jets.

Qantas' twelve superjumbos were delivered between September 2008 and December 2011, and the make-over could co-incide with their scheduled 'heavy maintenance' checks.

The upgrade would give the A380s a new lease of life for another 10-12 years, at which point they are likely to be retired in favour of next-gen aircraft such as the Boeing 777-X series (below) as Qantas moves to a new strategy of long-range non-stop flights.

The biggest winners from the A380 upgrade would be corporate travellers, with business class going from the current Skybed II seats with their lack of storage space and cramped 2-2-2 layout...

... to the Dreamliner Business Suite, which like the A330 Business Suite offers copious personal space, a massive 16 inch video screen and direct aisle access for every passenger.

The Skybed pods are a clear generation behind the business class curve and on US routes, for example, pale by comparison with Virgin Australia's Boeing 777 business class...

... that of Qantas' own partner American Airlines...

... United Airline's forthcoming Boeing 787 Polaris business class...

... and potentially Delta's Airbus A350 Delta One suites.

Qantas' Boeing 787's economy seats – with their 12 inch screens, inbuilt iPad stands and AC and USB power sockets – are also expected to make their way onto the A380's lower deck.

Qantas would also replace today's A380 premium economy seats with Dreamliner's all-new premium economy seats.

A revamp of the A380's first class cabin is also on the cards, although it's not known if Qantas will settle for a touch-up of today's first class, a total transformation to an all-new suite or strike somewhere in-between.

Also read: Is Qantas planning a first class cabin upgrade for the Airbus A380?

Qantas may also use the upgrade period to add inflight Internet and WiFi across the A380 fleet so that travellers can fire up their laptop, tablet or smartphone to tap into a high-speed satellite connection.

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.
 

82 comments

  • ajstubbs

    ajstubbs

    3 Feb, 2017 07:16 am

    Yeeees! J class is well overdue. 
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    stuapola, Ottiehund

  • Angus  Coventry

    Covo95

    3 Feb, 2017 07:53 am

    it hasn't been officially announced yet. so i will take this with a grain of salt 
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  • moa999

    moa999

    3 Feb, 2017 09:00 am

    Grain of salt yes.. but it obviously has to happen.
    Also hoping for a much improved bar area.

    Open question as to whether the 747ERs which are only six or so years older also get a refurb
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  • Angus  Coventry

    Covo95

    3 Feb, 2017 09:17 am

    agreed, it must happen, but it must be pondered if qantas will actually do it or not. 
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  • AJW

    AJW

    3 Feb, 2017 03:09 pm

    Excuse the English but why would they not do it? It either needs to be done or get rid of the A380's. Think the former is the more likley option.
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  • David Flynn

    David

    3 Feb, 2017 11:30 am

    We wouldn't have written the article if this wasn't on the cards.
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    GregXL, Marxx63

  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    3 Feb, 2017 08:11 am

    Hopefully QF announce that they are in the planning stages of an A380 refurb at the 787 PE reveal. 
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  • Dave

    Grannular

    3 Feb, 2017 09:12 am

    It will be funny to see during the refurb process all the people complaining about getting the old product instead of the new one.
    If they do one plane at a time and only during heavy maintenance, I wonder how long it will take to complete.
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  • moa999

    moa999

    3 Feb, 2017 09:55 am

    The 330s took roughly a month only for seats only, and two months combined with a major check.

    Would expect similar or a bit longer for the 380s so I'd say it's an 18-mth program, with probably a break over the Xmas/Jan period to have all aircraft available
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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    3 Feb, 2017 10:09 am

    throw in repaints into the new roo, and it's all on schedule to be complete by 2020 100th birthday :) . Of course it IS still ALL speculation, but I do enjoy stoking the fire :)
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    3 Feb, 2017 01:47 pm

    @moa999:
    "Would expect similar or a bit longer for the 380s so I'd say it's an 18-mth program."
    Sounds about right.  It's less about how long it takes to complete renovation for each frame.  Theoretically, they can do 2 or even 3 in parallel if they are in a real hurry...I believe QF Tech/Engineering do hv such capacity especially in combo with outsourcing to large MRO service providers.

    Historically, it's more about how much seat supplies fm a fleet type an operator can take down fm its network @ any one time.  With a 380 x12 fleet, I expect QF can only do 1 frame @ a time.
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  • daschok

    daschok

    8 Feb, 2017 05:29 pm

    You may find it will be a relatively quick process as they could do more than 1 at a time. 

    If they start when they cut the QF9/10 for the 787 thru PER, that opens up 2 A380s, cut the A380 on the 127/128 rotation and that opens up another one. So they could do one in MNL where they sometimes do maintenance, one in SYD and one in MEL or something. 
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  • russell

    russell

    3 Feb, 2017 10:27 am

    This is purely speculative.....believe it when its announced. Too many " could" and "would".
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  • Kevin Cheung

    Kevin Cheung

    4 Feb, 2017 03:32 pm

    I think ABT's track record is pretty good so far when it comes to being 'ahead of the curve' even when Qantas can't say it outright yet.
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  • betterbub

    betterbub

    3 Feb, 2017 10:30 am

    I think the newer QF seat is ahead of the UA Polaris seat. Polaris looks newer and cooler with all that marketing, but I think it's pretty mediocre even for today's standards. I wouldn't call QF's seat revolutionary by any means, but I think it's still average.
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  • Terry

    Tez22

    3 Feb, 2017 10:43 am

    Would this update mean less J seats due to a 1,2,1 arrangement, or would they rejig the PE and upper deck Y numbers to accommodate ??
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  • QFcrew

    QFcrew

    3 Feb, 2017 11:31 am

    The new seat is more space efficient than Skybed II. 
     If you consider the 333 ( Skybed I angled bed ) we had 30 J seats at 60inch pitch which translated to 28 business suites in the new config.  So, on the 388 the pitch is greater at 80inch with Skybed II. So we will be able to fit more seats in the same space. 
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  • hutch

    hutch

    3 Feb, 2017 02:55 pm

    Um, is there not 36 J seats on A330's with Skybed 1?
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  • AJW

    AJW

    3 Feb, 2017 03:15 pm

    There is 36J on the international -200's, on the 300's it was 30.

    J on the 300's is all forward of door 2, old 30, new 28, so two seat loss.

    Bit more complex on the -200's as some of J is behind door 2. On Skybed MK I config the J cabin went well over the wing, on the new config J doesn't go as far. Though with the rumored new International -200 config time will tell if this changes.
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  • QFcrew

    QFcrew

    4 Feb, 2017 12:20 pm

    36J is on the 2x 332 with Skybed I. Aircraft originally planned for disposal but now being kept and to be reconfigured at a later date. 
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  • JoeA350

    JoeA350

    6 Feb, 2017 03:10 pm

    Has this been confirmed?  Last I heard,  the leasing company want the aircraft back as they have been on leased. 
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  • AJW

    AJW

    6 Feb, 2017 04:34 pm

    Doubt leasing company would 'want' them back especially when they have a customer who needs them. 

    Anyway word on street is the 8 or so fixed seat IFE -200's will be reconfigured into the international subclass and that EBG/EBL will be reconfigured the same as the WiFi equiped domestic config like EBA/EBB ect. 
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  • superflyer

    superflyer

    23 Feb, 2017 05:05 pm

    Yes and I flew one of them in December. At a time when the 2 yr upgrade process should have been completed for all QF A330s, to be flying the old config A330, particularly in business, is not acceptable.
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    3 Feb, 2017 04:40 pm

    The A380 cabin (upper deck) is wider than the A330 cabin by 52cm (a bit over 20 inches, or les than 2 feet). This will be a conundrum for QF, unless they redesign the J suites. The cabin will be too narrow for 5 across (say 2-1-2), but 4 across (1-2-1) will waste quite a lot of space. However, it they moved Business to the lower deck, then that cabin is 70cm wider, so I dare say they could fit 5 across there. 
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  • Packetman21

    Packetman21

    3 Feb, 2017 05:00 pm

    Why would you want 5 across??!! The aim is to only have 4 across!
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  • AJW

    AJW

    3 Feb, 2017 05:39 pm

    You are assuming the exact same seat will be used.

    Take the Skybed MKI, the A330 seat was a narrower version of the 747 seat to compensate for the smaller width to play with.

    So guess no reason why Qantas couldn't use a slightly wider version of the A330 J suite on the A380. In fact I would welcome it as the A330 suite can at times feel a little too small in bed mode.
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  • twkgill

    twkgill

    3 Feb, 2017 05:48 pm

    Malaysia Airlines runs an alternating 5 across (1-2-1 then 1-2-2) in their A330. Although QF runs the Vantage XL model which is slightly wider, the extra cabin width in the A380 means it can be probably be done in the same config. Hope they create the Vantage XXL instead!  
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  • Kevin Cheung

    Kevin Cheung

    4 Feb, 2017 03:35 pm

    I've flown the Malaysia Airlines version of the seat, it's a bit cramped just like the Swiss version. I think we will see a wider version of the Qantas Business Suite to retain the 1-2-1 layout and add more room. PS 'Vantage XXL', I like it!
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  • JimmyJ

    JimmyJ

    3 Feb, 2017 11:05 am

    I quite like the skybed2. It's great for a couple and very spacious. Storage, screen and tray space could be improved, but the concept and current product  is still pretty good.  Some of the competitors products can be excessively claustrophobic.

    I found theSkybed seats and service much better on the kangaroo recently compared to their Arabian strategic partner who flew the second leg.
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  • ajstubbs

    ajstubbs

    3 Feb, 2017 12:43 pm

    I would be ok with them if they were still flat but they're just not anymore. At least none I've been in lately have been. Time to go!
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  • Joe

    Joe

    3 Feb, 2017 12:15 pm

    Alleluia!! Finally someone at Qantas awakes! QF's recent history of laaaaaagging hard product fleet and interiors is amazing considering they are not shy to say they are an innovative carrier. Isn't always reflected in reality. Anyway this is a brilliant move QF!
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  • THR

    THR

    3 Feb, 2017 02:08 pm

    I think you missed the part where this is speculation. It's a little too early to be praising them.
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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    3 Feb, 2017 12:44 pm

    We knew this had to happen, so its good to see its in the works.

    The First product is different to that of any other airline so I'd expect they keep the same basic product but add privacy doors and maybe a chilled drinks compartment/vanity area. 

    Qantas Business Suite could fit the same number of seats PLUS two more lavatories in the same area. A lot of people complain about how the lavatories on the A380 sometimes have a long wait so this would be a great improvement. Would also be a huge comfort upgrade.

    Dreamliner-grade (but at A380 dimensions) PE and Economy seats would round things out nicely. 
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  • GregXL

    GregXL

    3 Feb, 2017 01:44 pm

    Or, Y could be Dreamliner dimensions and 11 across.  Lets hope they don't go there!
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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    3 Feb, 2017 01:57 pm

    I doubt they will. The A380 is arguably too big for QF anyway, adding more seats = more expensive reconfiguration, and more pax = less range which would make the Dallas route harder to operate. 
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  • mviy

    mviy

    3 Feb, 2017 04:22 pm

    On the Dallas route they can just not fill seats if the load is too high. It wouldn't make sense to have a different seating configuration just for the Dallas route as they couldn't guarantee certain A380 aircraft would only ever fly on that route.
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  • matty24

    matty24

    3 Feb, 2017 01:14 pm

    This is real reason why allan jorcye did not announce premium economy seats for 787s when did the rebranding announcement as they will get full refurbishment and rebranding at the same time along with check that were mentioned in the article . 
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  • Kevin Cheung

    Kevin Cheung

    4 Feb, 2017 03:37 pm

    The 787 starts flying in less than 12 months and the A380 refurb wouldn't be for a few years, so the 787 premium economy seat HAS to be launched before the A380 refit. ABT has reported it will be launched this month or next.
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  • cbourl

    cbourl

    3 Feb, 2017 01:25 pm

    About time!  Only bothered once on the A380 from MEL-LAX  Horibble appauling slant beds in Business advertised as full flat beds!  And they didn't even keep their own aircraft  for our connection to JFK waiting for us!   What a bonus as we were all rebooked on a decent  business class with full flat beds from LAX-JFK
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    3 Feb, 2017 04:45 pm

    QF will hold the LAX-JFK aircraft for about an hour to wait for late incoming connections. But if they wait longer than that, they then cause problems with slots at JFK and the turnaround to get back to LAX for the outbound flights. So if the flights from MEL or SYD are delayed by more than about an hour, they don't hold the 747 past that.
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  • Rusty1

    Rusty1

    3 Feb, 2017 05:08 pm

    Sorry cbourl, but if my memory serves me correctly the A380 has had Skybed II (ie fully flat bed) since the aircrafts' introduction into QF fleet. Perhaps you didn't push the button long enough. It was the modified 747s that were fitted with Skybed I, the angled bed. But please correct me if I'm wrong. Even so, I must admit that whenever I fly F or J Class I don't want the bed to be fully flat. Anyone with a knowledge of aerodynamics will know that aircraft always cruise with a "nose-up" pitch. Hence I find it much more comfortable to have about a 5 to 10 degree elevation on my lie flat bed to keep my head at least level with my feet. Personal choice perhaps. Others may enjoy sleeping with their head lower than their feet. 

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  • cbourl

    cbourl

    3 Feb, 2017 05:42 pm

    was meant to be a fully flat bed    -crew couldn't help me with it and told me that was QF product  _ am fully versed with flat beds in both F and C on Lufthansa,Swiss,Cathay,Singapore Air,Thai,EVA,Etihad etc  This was a one off flight on QF as an Alaskan Air booking  - and as for the previous reply we landed on time to connect to QF  to JFK  QF just decided to rebook everyone  The 747 QF product in C im aware of also  - I did it last year to connect to Swiss F  - for the flight  from MEL to HKG it is adequate and perhaps better than the CX product in terms of width and food offerings 5K on the 747 is particularly good on QF  It is a shame the lounge offerings in MEL and some old boiler staff on QF are inadequate - at least on the ground you can visit the Cathay Pacific lounge at MEL which beats QF Int C lounge @ MEL  by a million miles!
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    J-sh

  • J-sh

    J-sh

    3 Feb, 2017 09:31 pm

    United's backwards facing business seats had some grumbling but apart from takeoff they were much better for sleeping laid fully flat than the forward facing seats for the reason mentioned.
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  • Adam T

    AT

    3 Feb, 2017 02:48 pm

    I'm really loving this whole phase of Qantas reinvention. New planes, new inflight, great staff, new lounges, great FF. Im booking them more often than not these days. 
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    Matt_01

  • traveller99

    traveller99

    3 Feb, 2017 02:48 pm

    There can only be two possibilities:

    1. Qantas upgrades business class seating on the A380 in the next 1-2 years.

    2. Qantas retires the A380 completely.

    The Skybed is already shocking in comparison to pretty much everyone else, and it cannot possibly be continued beyond 2018.
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  • hutch

    hutch

    3 Feb, 2017 02:59 pm

    Option 2 is not really an option.
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  • Ottiehund

    Ottiehund

    3 Feb, 2017 02:48 pm

    Refirb very badly needed in J as I have just booked 2 longhaul J Class trips (Frankfurt and London) on SQ/NZ...... the old 2-2-2 is costing Qantas bookings directly.  Unless you manage to get an EK aircraft and a QF flight number of course!
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  • AJW

    AJW

    3 Feb, 2017 05:44 pm

    Costing bookings? Most flights I've done they seem pretty full and frequent flyer forums always complaining about lack of reward availability on the A380 flights. So says to me no lack of sales and bookings.

    Of course the time has now come for a change in product, but this time is about the natural time you would expect to be refreshing product in an economicly sensible manner.
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  • BrisbanePE

    BrisbanePE

    3 Feb, 2017 02:59 pm

    Do the new 787 economy seats result in greater width and pitch?
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    Jedinak K

  • AJW

    AJW

    3 Feb, 2017 03:19 pm

    Width no, pitch yes, but not sure the connection to a possible A380 reconfig. You cannot easily compare like that.
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  • BrisbanePE

    BrisbanePE

    3 Feb, 2017 03:46 pm

    The article states the 787 economy seats would make their onto the A380 lower deck. I'm wondering if in doing that the pitch will increase. But that would only happen, for the same number of seats, if the seats shrank. So better question would to wonder if they will reduce number of rows to increase pitch? Seems unlikely.
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  • AJW

    AJW

    3 Feb, 2017 05:49 pm

    Think you are reading far to literally and the question re pitch would be far too early to tell.

    My less literal reading of "787 seats for economy", means same basic style and features, not the exact same seat and dimensions. The same will be true for the J seat too, I would expect it will be the same design and features, but will be modified to suit the A380 etc.
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  • JOHN

    jgb59

    3 Feb, 2017 03:10 pm

    Great news I avoid Qantas business class on the A380 & 747 due to the skybeds not that I find them uncomfortable just the fact of having to climb over someone or be climbed over plus they don't have the best storage. I love the A330 new business class with its storage space and privacy. I was lucky enough to get business class seats on points from Gold Coast to Barcelona in May-July and thankfully except for the domestic flight to and from Sydney I am on Emirates A380 but would rather go on Qantas if they had the same seats as the A330.
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  • moa999

    moa999

    4 Feb, 2017 05:13 pm

    Middle seats are all aisle. Although agree about the storage part, apart from the window seats in A380 or 747 upper deck
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  • Jay

    ausJCP

    3 Feb, 2017 03:42 pm

    Oh, thank god... FINALLY!!
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    3 Feb, 2017 03:46 pm

    This is something that has been expected for some time.

    The stated plan for the first 8 787s is to allow the retirement of the last 5 non ER 744s (3 of which have the 380 seats), but the announced routes won't displace any 747s and would require 4 or 5 frames. The announced PER-LHR route may displace 2 A380s, depending on what happens with MEL-DXB-LHR.

    If they refurb 2 A380s at the same time, during D checks, they would have to send 1 to FRA to be done. MNL can only have 1 A380 on the ground at a time.

    When they did the minor refit (remove rear J cabin, move W forward, add more Y) to the 380s, how long did each take?
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    3 Feb, 2017 04:50 pm

    You're forgetting QF's new purpose-built A380 maintenance hangar at LAX, which can cater for 4 A380s at any one time. I'm presuming QF is now planning to do all its own A380 heavy maintenance.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    4 Feb, 2017 12:26 pm

    John I doubt that hanger will be used for a D check. Too complex and takes a month or more. QF will use Philippines or Frankfurt for that. LA will be used for B checks that take a day or so and they may add BA and EK to the list to do B checks for.
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  • Rod Harmer

    Rod H

    3 Feb, 2017 06:02 pm

    I really can't understand the comments that it's a great relief etc. to see QF upgrade their seats. Why would anyone bother to travel with them with and  their current  seats when there are so many International Airlines flying in and out of Australia that would leave QF for dead in all respects. Why apparently suffer these woeful seats when you can fly right now with vastly better seats and service on so many other carriers? IMOP there's far too much emphasis on " flying with the national carrier " when it is way behind the competitors. Loyalty is one thing but when it comes to comfort then I reckon one should choose the other better Airlines for comfort and service!!!
    I'l bet this gets a few sharp loyal QF comments!!!!!!
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  • tmsmile

    tmsmile

    3 Feb, 2017 07:26 pm

    When travelling in a premium cabin space and service are my main concerns. When it comes to space, it's hard to beat the legroom QF J offers. It doesn't bother me the slightest stepping over my seat mate. I'd much rather the Skybed than the high walls of a Solstys J seat. 
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  • cbourl

    cbourl

    3 Feb, 2017 09:36 pm

    Absolutely    not a good carrier
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    GregXL

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    3 Feb, 2017 06:55 pm

    The one thing this suggests is that the Melb-LHR A380 flight is doomed. It may terminate at Dubai or maybe not. They do need to free up a plane to do the refurb. After they are all done in 18months or so it will be A380s to HK.
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  • zoomzoom

    zoomzoom

    3 Feb, 2017 07:28 pm

    QF Jclass is a totally inferior product. Only a mug would buy it. An upgrade is long over due as are 777/787/350 aircraft. 
    As usual QF will tease and talk about this for years and by the time they deliver the industry will be another leap ahead. 
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  • cbourl

    cbourl

    3 Feb, 2017 09:46 pm

    Abosultely QF is NOT a decent International carrier  Even slant beds on SQ  ADL-SIN-ADL beat QF A30 skybeds in terms of hard and soft product on board and on ground!!
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  • Steve Doyle

    Steve Doyle

    4 Feb, 2017 04:13 pm

    Yes, the Qantas A380 business class is well behind the rest of the industry but to say "only a mug would buy it" shows you have little knowledge of the travel business. Many companies have to fly Qantas because it's policy, and many people prefer to fly Qantas because the seat's still not that bad and they like the lounge, status, service etc.

    Personally I always book the middle block of seats on the A380 so that I don't have to climb over anybody or have anybody climbing over me. I don't really need the view from a window seat, you only have a view there when taking off and landing anyway.
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  • Davedownunder

    Davedownunder

    3 Feb, 2017 07:38 pm

    What a fantastic business opportunity for Qantas. 

    As you say the US carriers have put their cards on the table and finally woken up to the fact that their Business class product was utter rubbish. Emirates still have a poor product on the 777. 

    I would suggest to Qantas to take the best features of the competition and build it into a new layout, probably herringbone like their first class and add a door. My orders of preferences on a long flight are:
    1. Comfortable bed
    2. No one wakes me up by climbing over me
    3 Dont force me to sit bolt upright three days before we land so the crew can get some time off
    4. A meal when I want it

    Given how long it took the US airlines to join the real world they are unlikely to see them respond for a long time having just spent the money to upgrade. 
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  • Mal

    Mal

    4 Feb, 2017 03:42 pm

    1. Comfortable bed: Business Suite already gives you that but agree with others here, a wider version to make use of the A380's wider upper deck would be welcome.
    2. Direct aisle access: you get this with the Business Suite
    3. A silly comment, and anyway the Business Suite lets you have a recline in take-off and landing.
    4. Very much agree with 'dine on demand' in business class, and maybe QF can revamp the galley during the A380 refit to modernise it and cater for 'anytime dining' rather than fixed meal times. Also a proper coffee machine would be nice!
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  • Rod Harmer

    Rod H

    4 Feb, 2017 08:42 am

    Davedownunder. Not only do Emirates have  a poor product on their B777 their A380 is woeful as well!!!  I have travelled a few times on both and IMOP Emirates have one of the worst J class in the whole region, never again ! There are so many far better than EK and QF as well. Shop around , there's no point in putting up with an inferior product when there are so many great ones available!!
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  • crazybenjamin

    crazybenjamin

    5 Feb, 2017 03:47 pm

    Emirates A380 J class is fully flat, with aisle access.
    I don't see any problem with it.
    Also, there is a point in "putting up with an inferior product" if it means lower cost, more convenient schedule, etc.
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  • crazybenjamin

    crazybenjamin

    5 Feb, 2017 03:47 pm

    Emirates A380 J class is fully flat, with aisle access.
    I don't see any problem with it.
    Also, there is a point in "putting up with an inferior product" if it means lower cost, more convenient schedule, etc.
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  • Davedownunder

    Davedownunder

    5 Feb, 2017 04:06 pm

    I think that Emirates A380 product is OK, whilst not the best at least four across instead of 5 on the 777 which was the issue. Qantas adopted a six across layout on their A380s which means if your sitting on the window you need to climb over someone. With Emirates on their 777s if your in the middle seat then you need to climb over someone to get out. 

    My suggestion to Qantas was to take the best features of the competition and build that into their new product. Direct aisle access was one obvious one. Make it flat, comfy and in PK's case 6'5" long. 

    This is an opportunity for business travelers to influence how good your next Qantas seat is. I'm sure Qantas read these comments.

    Feedback is a gift.
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  • PK

    PK

    4 Feb, 2017 12:16 pm

    Agree that change to the Suite is welcome, but at 6'5" and 115 kgs I will take a Skybed II and occasionally stepping over someone (no big deal with my legs) than being crammed into EK J for hours on end where all the width in the seat is taken up with a gimmick of a lukewarm fridge, when I can easily ask a flight attendant for a cold drink. 

    Also, QF give big corporates and government very deep J discounts.  They have no problem filling the current J class on the A380. It's people paying for Y (individuals where the retail price is high) and F (which most corporates won't allow) that is the problem. 
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  • highflyer

    highflyer

    9 Feb, 2017 04:03 am

    Wish they could adopt the seat cushion/mattress on the current A380 "F" class into the new 787 J class suite... i reckon it is still the most comfortable seat in the sky... not too hard and not too soft, and really breathable... perfect for a good rest.
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  • Alex Moris

    Alex Moris

    16 Feb, 2017 01:06 am

    As a proud Aussie, I would naturally love to support our national carrier, however when I am forking out 6K plus for a J class seat and I compare what Qantas offers with regards to hard product and service and their competitors. Qantas should concede with red cheeks- seriously, Qantas have a look at Qatar, Etihad, Singapore, even your partner Emirates who make you look cheap and nasty. Qatar offer in J - single aisle access, modern latest seats, A380 proper stand-up inflight bar; not a red park bench, dine when you want, wifi, impeccable service not grouchy old and tired QF crew. So I say stuff loyality when Qantas prefers to line the pockets of their CEO instead of using their profits to invest into their customers inflight experience.
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  • Pauline Caine

    pauline

    27 Feb, 2017 02:52 pm

    I agree! The new Premium Economy seats still have the person in front in your lap when laid back still causing difficulties getting out to go to the loo. To me, its same old same old! A real shame when they can do better!
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    23 Feb, 2017 12:16 pm

    It's hard to get too excited about this announcement.  Everyone knows that the A380 product needs a refresh and today's announcement is that in the next year or so QF will make another announcement as to when they plan to commence the upgrade.  On this basis, it is probably at least 2 years before the actual product is installed.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    23 Feb, 2017 12:27 pm

    I suspect they will start the refurb from the middle of next year after the 787s free up the A380s that ply the Melb-Dubai-LHR. They will do it with the D checks so it will be a couple of months for each. 18 months or so all up. In 2020 when they have a full complement back, then new HK and other routes announced,
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  • Joe

    Joe

    23 Feb, 2017 09:42 pm

    The MkII are a joke now 2-2-2 and slanting foot rests which don't quite qualify for fully flat as per spin pics. They may have been 180 degrees in the first few months but very quickly lost that when foot rests started to give way.
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  • Alex McGillycuddy

    Alex McG

    24 Feb, 2017 12:16 am

    To LA it's all about the extra leg room with Virgin (can't wait for MEL-LAX direct) for my clients.

    Premium to LA with Business back and save some money. 


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    Alex Moris

  • Colin

    Quizno

    27 Feb, 2017 03:20 pm

    Meanwhile there are A330s in the fleet with seats and screens from the '80s and they are badly letting the Qantas product down. 
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  • AJW

    AJW

    27 Feb, 2017 04:58 pm

    Bit melodramatic I would say.... There are two a/c that you speak of, you know the history behind them like everyone else on this board, Qantas is apparently going to bring them up to current standards soon enough.

    But 80's screens? Not even close. I remember the 80's of no IFE and pneumatic headsets and audio, and possibly an old roof mounted CRT screen or projector on a wide body. And 90's, well late 90's the start of seat back personal IFE running on a loop with 8 or 16 channels, 24 if you were lucky enough to be in business. Which was a seat not too different from todays premium economy seats. Certainly not direct isle access beds that we all expect to find, even on 4 hour transcon flights. 

    Indeed yesterday flew on a SQ 777-300 (non ER) and it had the same Rockwell Collins IFE system as is on the two remaining QF A330-200's, and oddly enough wasn't working. Guess using your reasoning these old (11 year old a/c) are brining the SQ product down too!
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  • Kolbein Camunas

    Kolbein Camunas

    27 Feb, 2017 07:32 pm

    The Transpacific J cabin competition is tough but Qantas is not that far behind. Polaris and Delta One suite are not coming to Australia Anytime soon. United's Dreamliners will be the last model to be upgraded in its fleet (2025+?); So will Delta's 77Ls + their first A359 is still on the assembly line and will be based in DTW anyway. American's 77W has a shinny new cabin but it won't beat Qantas on soft product. The only real threat is Virgin.
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25 May, 2019 01:22 am

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