Qantas revamps Airbus A330s with an extra business class loo

Qantas revamps Airbus A330s with an extra business class loo

Qantas will give six of its domestic Airbus A330-200 jets an "international upgrade" to a similar spec as their A330-300 cousins, and says the final two jets featuring the the original Skybed business class will also be fitted with the new Business Suites.

A spokesman for Qantas confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the six jets getting a re-refurb will gain a second toilet in the business class cabin – something that's been much-needed when those aircraft are rostered onto long Asian routes.

Further feature comforts for business class passengers will see the galley kitchen fitted with a toaster and an espresso machine, while the enlarged galley will be able to support a second full meal service – again, handy when the domestic jets are pressed into international service.

The rejig will result in one less business class seat, with the tally dropping from 28 to 27, while the covers of those seats themselves will be switched from leather to fabric.

The overhauls will run from May 2018 through to December 2018 and joining those six jets in the Brisbane hangar will be one of the two remaining A330-200s which still have the previous-generation Skybed business class seats. Its sibling will follow in 2019, the Qantas spokesman confirmed.

The entire 12-strong A330-200 fleet will then trundle back into the hangar from early 2019 to be equipped with Qantas' satellite WiFi system, with the airline expecting most of the jets to be WiFi'd by the end of the year.

Read: Qantas delays Airbus A330 WiFi rollout to 2019-2020

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.
 

54 comments

  • MarkJohnSon

    MarkJohnSon
    Banned

    8 Mar, 2018 04:05 pm

    That's great progress from Mr. Joyce and the team at QF. VA, eat your heart out!
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  • jmphoto

    jmphoto

    8 Mar, 2018 04:35 pm

    I genuinely don't understand the club mentality. Surely any innovation from one airline benefits everyone as other airlines try to keep up. Unless QF are paying you I don't get the competitive streak in your post.

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  • Mr Miyagi

    Mr Miyagi
    Banned

    8 Mar, 2018 06:47 pm

    His point is fair. Good airlines responds to constructive criticism.

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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    9 Mar, 2018 08:32 am

    Yes, they have responded to criticism but it is hardly progress. The lack of loos was an obvious issue from the start; there was also criticism that the leather seating was less comfortable than the fabric on the A333s.

    As far as the coffee, this is catch up with many airlines including SQ and VA already having espresso machines on their Asian services.

    Now they are in the mood to respond to criticism, let's hope they do something about the terrible outcome with the W class seating on the 787s.
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  • MarkJohnSon

    MarkJohnSon
    Banned

    9 Mar, 2018 01:21 pm

    To all the critics, the point I am getting across is that QF has been a well-run, and well-managed airline, and it shows through examples like this. The same can not be said for VA.
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  • moa999

    moa999

    8 Mar, 2018 04:15 pm

    One would hope that these international aircraft will also come with an agreement to use satellites other than just SkyMuster
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  • AJW

    AJW

    8 Mar, 2018 04:52 pm

    That is why they are not being fitted now. They need a different provider.
    No member give thanks

  • Steven Beale

    melbtraveler

    8 Mar, 2018 04:17 pm

    Great news. The extra loo up front will be appreciated
    Member who gave thanks

    wanderingvan

  • wanderingvan

    wanderingvan

    9 Mar, 2018 01:27 am

    It can't come soon enough. My recent trip to CGK was in one of the 330 with a singular toilet in J, for both flights. Not something I am keen to experience again but sadly I will head back to CGK again soon before any of this upgrading happens.
    No member give thanks

  • tomJ

    tomJ

    8 Mar, 2018 04:20 pm

    Glad to hear the old skybed mk1 will finally be going the way of the dodo! The new J product is leaps and bounds ahead.
    No member give thanks

  • Malcolm Lee

    mallee

    8 Mar, 2018 04:32 pm

    Hopefully, one of them will fly the PER-SIN route, instead of the current B737.
    Member who gave thanks

    Jflyer

  • PerthFlyer

    PerthFlyer

    8 Mar, 2018 05:01 pm

    Couldn't agree more PER-SIN is a joke in a B737. Especially now extra legroom seats are $90 each way and even then it's barely bearable.
    Members who gave thanks

    mallee, Jflyer, BCTraveller

  • mviy

    mviy

    8 Mar, 2018 05:19 pm

    You can fly direct non-stop PER-LHR. No need to stop in SIN on the way.

    I doubt QF would want to cannibalise demand for J on the direct flight by making J too good on the PER-SIN flight.
    No member give thanks

  • Poisson

    Poisson

    8 Mar, 2018 05:32 pm

    What's it got to do with London? A lot of people fly to Singapore without going on to Europe, and at the moment Singapore Airlines are eating Qantas' lunch with four wide-body flights a day. All Qantas can offer is a 737.
    Members who gave thanks

    mallee, AJ Smith Perth

  • EK413

    EK413

    8 Mar, 2018 07:38 pm

    Pretty difficult to justify anything larger than B737’s considering QF is O&D focused whilst SQ offer extensive onwards connections.
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  • Merry

    Merry

    9 Mar, 2018 03:13 pm

    Why do you assume everyone wants to go to LHR? Most of us work in Asia and Changi is a marvellous hub. Absolutely refuse to go on a ridiculous QF 737, when Singapore Airlines has three flights a day at least between Per and Sin in 777's.

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  • dm12

    dm12

    8 Mar, 2018 05:34 pm

    I think 2x 737 per day is a better level of service then 1x 330
    I just wish they’d give a bit more legroom on 737 flights >4 hours, perhaps a mid-haul subfleet would do the job but I understand the advantages of 100% fleet commonal
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  • Dave

    Grannular

    8 Mar, 2018 04:52 pm

    This has been rumored for quite some time now. I am surprised it has taken this long to get it sorted.
    No member give thanks

  • aussiflyer

    aussiflyer

    8 Mar, 2018 05:16 pm

    I wonder if this means these 330's will be destined to more international routes and scale back the domestic.
    No member give thanks

  • EK413

    EK413

    8 Mar, 2018 07:29 pm

    The international A330 flying excluding NZ uses up 14-15 frames a day so 16 A330’s would cover existing routes.
    No member give thanks

  • AlainC

    AlainC

    8 Mar, 2018 05:20 pm

    Perhaps they could also force the entitled unionised cabin crew to clean the toilets during the flight so they remain in a hygienic state!
    Member who gave thanks

    Panord

  • jwoww

    jwoww

    8 Mar, 2018 07:09 pm

    Maybe if the entitled pax learnt to use a toilet properly and not leave toilet paper everywhere and not clean up after themselves like a considerate human being, then it would be easier to look after the toilets
    Members who gave thanks

    EK413, AJ Smith Perth

  • Simon Coveney

    Covvers

    9 Mar, 2018 12:25 am

    A bit of balance here is necessary, sir.

     
    Whilst there is no doubt there a lot of pax who have no regard for others in their treatment of aircraft toilets as if they were using a public toilet or that at a suburban pub. That said, it is equally fair to say that more can be done by staff to keep them clean and fresh, especially on long haul flights.
     
    Like a good restaurant or hotel, it is incumbent upon the staff to maintain the amenity of the toilets, particularly in J. It isn’t an excuse to say that joe public with no manners and poor hygiene are responsible and do nothing.
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  • Rotate

    Rotate

    12 Mar, 2018 10:46 am

    I dont believe the passengers on SQ or CX are cut from a superior cloth because in spite of Joe Sixpack's best efforts at being tardy, those planes have sparking lavs beginning to end. Me thinks its the paid QF staff not the paying public who might be the weak link in the chain here.
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  • EK413

    EK413

    8 Mar, 2018 07:13 pm

    The international A330 flying excluding NZ uses up 14-15 frames a day so 16 A330’s would cover existing routes
    No member give thanks

  • Panord

    Panord

    8 Mar, 2018 09:19 pm

    I always thought it was a silly decision to have only one J class toilet on these planes. My last A332 flight was SYD-MEL and even on such a short flight there were three J pax queuing to use the one toilet.

    No member give thanks

  • wanderingvan

    wanderingvan

    9 Mar, 2018 01:30 am

    I wonder how much revenue QF will loose by having 1 less J seat.
    No member give thanks

  • melbcollege

    melbcollege

    9 Mar, 2018 09:00 am

    Well done Qantas! It's about time to upgrade your last two international A330. Seriously, not good enough for long haul regional flights.
    No member give thanks

  • Scott Brown

    DownSouth

    9 Mar, 2018 10:21 am

    “Virgin eat your heart out”, I doubt they would be remotely interested in this announcement, all their 330’s are fully configured in the new suites, along with 2 J toilets in the 330 from day one. The 777’s likewise all have suites and 3-4 J toilets.
    If your referring to this airline, however for it, is a step forward.
    No member give thanks

  • Dejan Narat

    DCW

    9 Mar, 2018 02:06 pm

    18 332
    VH-EBA-EBG, EBJ-EBS and EBV
    10 333
    VH-QPA-QPJ
    No member give thanks

  • zoomzoom

    zoomzoom

    9 Mar, 2018 03:08 pm

    About time. QF spend far too much time on non core issues, gender equity, climate change. Its an airline, deliver better service at better prices. Joyces priorities are wrong.......he worries about his bonus then his personal agenda items and if there is time and money left, maybe the customers.

    QF regard customers as self loading cargo.
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  • FrequentFlyer

    FrequentFlyer

    9 Mar, 2018 06:16 pm

    Corporate social responsibility is not a non core issue. Some organisations went so far as to begin sole contracts with the QF Group due to their CSR policies.
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  • Scepticalflyer

    Scepticalflyer

    9 Mar, 2018 08:37 pm

    Um so that's why virgin has increased to 47% of corporate market. Virgin has by far a better business product than qantas these days. If qantas hasn't peaked they are very close.
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  • hutch

    hutch

    10 Mar, 2018 04:57 pm

    If Virgin is holding nearly half of the corporate market, their profit should be significantly higher than it is.

    Also product is often a mute point. Domestically, you will likely be on a 737 - not much difference between the two. If your business was taking you to LA - well VA 777s are great and now with HKG in the mix....

    But not too many corporates will make airline decisions purely on the basis of superior product on two routes.
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  • Scepticalflyer

    Scepticalflyer

    10 Mar, 2018 09:07 pm

    Not suggesting that decision is made on product. But doubt a decision would be made because of Qantas great corporate social responsibility! The $2B loss, staff lockout and reduction in decent jobs (transitioning to fewer casual crap jobs) as a result of the Qantas "transformation" are lost on some due to the clever but unsustainable marketing. And as a P1 / P flyer over the last 10 years the Qantas customer experience has not kept up. Every time I hop on a Virgin flight I am impressed with their product development since the previous experience - the VA brand doesn't have the benefit of nearly 100 years of development.
    No member give thanks

  • hutch

    hutch

    13 Mar, 2018 08:17 am

    No sorry, I don't understand your point. Virgin does what virgin does and Qantas does what Qantas does... If you like virgins product, fly virgin.

    What I am suggesting, is that if VA is holding 47% of the corporate market, then their profit should be more in line with QF's - with or without clever marketing.
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  • Adam T

    AT

    9 Mar, 2018 03:26 pm

    Thanks for the update David. Always good to read about improvements from any airline, good on QF here.
    No member give thanks

  • Jamie Corr

    jimjimmyjimson

    9 Mar, 2018 03:38 pm

    none of the qantas a330s are actually much cop... Much more impressed by SQ/CX A350s or Emirates 777s to Asia.

    Is really a very ordinary product at a premium price.
    Member who gave thanks

    simulate

  • xtfer

    xtfer

    9 Mar, 2018 08:49 pm

    Except the 777's tend to be a lot noisier...
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  • Jamie Corr

    jimjimmyjimson

    9 Mar, 2018 09:20 pm

    Never noticed the noise. Just the crappy seats, and awful seat pitch.

    I spend a lot of time each month on A330s to Asia and I’d choose a 777 or 747 over those every time - Almost irrespective of carrier. Was so glad at last minute I decided to come back from Tokyo via Sydney on a 747 service - was so much better than the a330 going there.
    No member give thanks

  • hutch

    hutch

    10 Mar, 2018 05:00 pm

    You prefer to fly Emirates 777 with angle business seat in 2-3-2 configuration?
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  • Luke Spence

    Luke49

    9 Mar, 2018 07:51 pm

    I can’t believe it had taken QF this long to do something about it. EBG & EBL are embarrassing for QF business class passengers. Singapore Airlines have old J class but at least you know what flights they are on so you can avoid them.
    QF it’s totaly random. Domestic, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Auckland.
    I thought they would have done them while they had 787-9s before PER-LHR starts.
    Member who gave thanks

    melbtraveler

  • Joe

    Joe

    9 Mar, 2018 07:54 pm

    What a joke...they take away a lav then it's major news when they put back what should never have been taken away in the first place! And some here are congratulating them...What does taking away a lav tell you about Qantas priorities...they. dont care about passengers, premium ones at that. I'd have to agree; they see passengers as nothing more than self loading cargo.
    No member give thanks

  • xtfer

    xtfer

    9 Mar, 2018 08:48 pm

    Since my previous comment was (probably rightly) deleted... I don't understand the complaints about the lack of loo's . I've never had to wait more than a few minutes for a J class loo on a QF flight - even when there was only one, and thats a good opportunity to stretch ones legs a bit. The A330 business class is really very good, in general.
    No member give thanks

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    9 Mar, 2018 09:18 pm

    The real issue with the toilets on the longer flights was when people changed into and out of their pyjamas. For the last hours or so of a flight from SIN, it was impossible to access the toilet and I found it easier to head back into Y class.
    No member give thanks

  • traveller90

    traveller90

    9 Mar, 2018 09:57 pm

    What I struggle with, is why does Qantas try to keep updating these old worn out and tired JQ aircraft instead of just buying new aircraft with new seats, galleys, toilets and wifi already built in along with fuel saving and far more efficient engines. If the fares need to go up to pay for it, so be it as I am happy to pay for a decent aircraft over these repainted and renovated old clunkers!
    No member give thanks

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    10 Mar, 2018 01:38 am

    Traveller, they will be replaced when their life is up (retiring before fully depreciated has a cost) probably in the early 2020s and they may have the new Boeing mid size plane in their sights for it QF say the current offerings are too heavy for the short flights (<6hr). The 787-10 may replace the A333s for the 6-10hr flights.
    No member give thanks

  • hutch

    hutch

    10 Mar, 2018 05:06 pm

    The oldest QF A330-2 had first flight in 2002. The majority of them started flying between 2007 and 2011 - these are not old airframes.
    No member give thanks

  • mannej

    mannej

    12 Mar, 2018 06:55 pm

    Q,R,S spent a couple of years at JQ, however these 6 332's are amongst the youngest in the fleet along with the other 3 in line for this second refurb (O, P and V).

    Compared to the 767's in their final years, these are hardly clunkers yet.

    No member give thanks

  • RT

    RT

    12 Mar, 2018 08:30 am

    This may explain why the earlier of the 2 A330 BNE-PER has been replaced by a 737. Booked in September, they changed it about a month ago. Frustrating when you book around a particular plane/spec.
    No member give thanks

  • Dante Giacomin

    danteg

    13 Mar, 2018 02:46 pm

    Excellent news!. I hope I hope my jet from Sydney to Honolulu is one of the revamped ones when I fly in August and September.
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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    13 Mar, 2018 03:05 pm

    Are EBL and EBL getting brand new economy seats like those on the A330-300s?
    No member give thanks

  • RK

    Ryan K

    15 Mar, 2018 09:26 am

    David, will these aircraft also receive an updated economy cabin to reflect the A300-300 series upgrade?
    No member give thanks

  • Lake Pacific Airways

    lakepacificair

    26 Mar, 2018 07:36 pm

    I’m just so happy that VH-EBG & VH-EBL are finally getting the revamps to Business Suites. Yesterday I purchased a MEL-SYD-PEK return on QF107/108 in November 2018, online seat selection still shows the current 2-2-2 configuration. I guess unless the “sibling” is scheduled for a maintenance, it’ll still be 2-2-2 for me - I’m never lucky to score the Business Suites on the Peking route. Last year I was quite hopeful, then flew the 2-2-2 three times; given QF’s 333s have appeared on SYD-PEK route quite frequently, I consider that somewhat unlucky. However this year, I’ll keep my expectation to the absolute minimum before flying, hahaha!
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25 Sep, 2018 04:01 pm

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