Qantas taps Brisbane for extensive Airbus A330 upgrade

Qantas taps Brisbane for extensive Airbus A330 upgrade

Qantas has chosen Brisbane as the base for an extensive refit of its Airbus A330 fleet, including the all-new business class Business Suite and inflight entertainment system.

The first of the refreshed A330s will roll out of Qantas' Brisbane heavy maintenance and engineering facility towards the end of next year.

The upgrade process will take around 30 days for each aircraft, with the project to be completed by mid-2016.

The A330s will appear on the transcontinental trek between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, as well as international flights to Qantas' key Asian ports including Singapore, Hong Kong (from Melbourne and Brisbane), Shanghai, Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, in Brisbane to officially open a $30 million upgrade to the hangar, said "our state-of-the-art Brisbane heavy maintenance facility is ideally suited to undertake the upgrade of our Airbus A330 aircraft."

All 30 of Qantas' A330s will receive the new Business Suites (below).

The seats extend to a fully lie-flat bed and, according to Qantas, can be left in a reclining position for take-off and landing.

The seats will be arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration so that every travellers has direct aisle access, with the seating staggered to provide great degree of privacy.

Read: Up close - dive into the details of the new Qantas Business Suite

Each A330 will also be fitted with the Q Streaming system which beams movies and music over WiFi to a passengers' own laptop, tablet or smartphone, giving travellers a choice between their using their own kit or watching the in-seat video screens.

The 10 jets used on international routes will also receive new economy seats (shown below), while the 20 planes assigned to Qantas Domestic will have their current economy seats refurbished.

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

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.
 

29 comments

  • watson374

    watson374

    27 Nov, 2013 01:56 pm

    Good to see, if about five years late!

    Will the QFi ones receive Premium Economy?

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    27 Nov, 2013 02:22 pm

    P/E IN QF A330 = NO

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  • Alvin Tse

    074061

    27 Nov, 2013 11:13 pm

    Sadly.

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  • JBH

    JBH

    27 Nov, 2013 02:37 pm

    Agreed, a little late by QF but think a PE offering on A330 would be well received by pax.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    27 Nov, 2013 02:56 pm

    comes down to a cost/benefit analysis..the a330(a332/333)  refit will allow 30 a/c to be utilized (flow more freely) between 'international' and 'domestic' schedules IF an a332 needs to fly an 'international' sector...or IF an a333 needs to fly a 'domestic' sector...if 10 x a333 are fitted with P/E...that drastically decreases its utilization and increases headaches for QF AND PAX. 

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  • watson374

    watson374

    27 Nov, 2013 03:05 pm

    There's nothing stopping you from using international 333s with W cabins on domestic services. All you need to do is use the W cabin to seat WPs booked in Y.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    27 Nov, 2013 03:53 pm

    . how about IF/WHEN an a332 is utilized/scheduled on an 'international' sector...seems you are 'domestic centric'...you think that the 20 x a332s will ONLY be utilized/scheduled for 'domestic' sectors??? hence my original observation that 30 x a330 with a J/C  Y/C product  will be more cost/benefit effective than 10 x a333 J/C P/E Y/C and 20 x a332 J/C Y/C product...you gotta think outside the box of a332=domestic..and a333='international'...THE TOTAL 30 x A330 FLEET will  be REGIONAL FLEET

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  • tt7

    tt7

    27 Nov, 2013 03:21 pm

    Indeed it would.  My understanding of the original plan for the (international) A330 re-configuration was that it would include PE, a product conspicuously missing on MEL-SIN and MEL-HKG flights.  What QF offers gets progressivley less and less interesting. I for one would certainly buy PE to SIN and HKG - as it is, I buy the Y ticket from someone else who gives me (an AA flier) full credit for the miles.  If QF wants to get 100% of the ticket price again, the plane needs PE.....

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  • watson374

    watson374

    27 Nov, 2013 04:43 pm

    Very well, undertheradar. Fit them all with the 3-class product (barring a couple of the older 332s to be used on the Triangle), and once again use the W cabin to seat WPs in Y.

    Same flexibility, better product.

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  • Phil Young

    Phil Young

    27 Nov, 2013 02:04 pm

    The new Business Suites look good, but the Economy seats are even better - gotta love the last two photos showing heaps of legroom.

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  • Alvin Tse

    074061

    27 Nov, 2013 05:56 pm

    It's not going to have so much legroom ;) That's just a sample. Two seats in an economy cabin? *chuckle*

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  • spudseamus

    spudseamus

    30 Nov, 2013 02:03 pm

    Lol! Phil ! Ya clown 

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  • Terry

    Tez22

    27 Nov, 2013 02:13 pm

    I hope they are going to remove the IFE boxes from under the seats in economy. I came back from Singapore on an A330 in economy last week and seat 24 K had half of the area under the seat in front taken up by these things ! 

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    27 Nov, 2013 02:35 pm

    the new panasonic AVOD system that will be fitted will have a much smaller/narrower 'box' under the seat..(from the current old rockwell collins) 4-5" width grey box..to an about 1-2" black box)...you will notice an improvement in foot space

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  • Terry

    Tez22

    27 Nov, 2013 03:13 pm

    It is interesting that Qantas are happy to tell you about the new seat and AVOD IFE however they do not want to show that there will still be a box attached to the seat leg that wil take up space under the seat.

    One other good thing though is that the photos show a shared AC power outlet between the two seats. Good for keeping the laptop going.

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  • yeamanator132

    yeamanator132

    27 Nov, 2013 05:30 pm

    I'm not sure if I've missed something, but I thought Qantas only had 10 International A330's (the A330-300's), and 20 Domestic A330's (the A330-200's).

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  • watson374

    watson374

    27 Nov, 2013 05:32 pm

    Yes. That adds up to the "30 A330s".

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  • yeamanator132

    yeamanator132

    27 Nov, 2013 05:45 pm

    I was referring to "The 20 jets used on international routes will also receive new economy seats (shown below), while the 10 planes assigned to Qantas Domestic will have their current economy seats refurbished.", which should be the other way round.

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  • watson374

    watson374

    27 Nov, 2013 06:59 pm

    Oh.

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  • Alvin Tse

    074061

    27 Nov, 2013 05:54 pm

    That's awkward, speaking of the A330-200s carrying longer range (source: airbus.com).

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  • yeamanator132

    yeamanator132

    27 Nov, 2013 06:00 pm

    Yup, but that's Qantas for you in a nutshell.

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  • hutch

    hutch

    27 Nov, 2013 11:17 pm

    Yes, but the A330-300s fit more passengers

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  • David Flynn

    David

    27 Nov, 2013 10:44 pm

    Yeah, those numbers transposed as the article was put together - since corrected.

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  • johnnypc67

    johnnypc67

    27 Nov, 2013 07:48 pm

    I would love to see PE/W on these aircraft but doubt it will happen. QF ignores Melbourne for this probably because JQ offers similar/inferior product to BKK and SIN and wont compete with CX 3 flights a day, same aircraft 3 class, to Hong Kong. They will try and get the Melbourne traffic through Sydney on the A380 to Hongkers

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  • watson374

    watson374

    27 Nov, 2013 11:18 pm

    The problem is that the A380 strategy doesn't actually work all that well on the Australia-Asia network, which demands frequency rather than one big blob a day.

    I would much rather have seen in Asia, especially to HKG and SIN, multi-daily A330s with the Marc Newson A380 product - fully-flat Business Skybeds, Premium Economy and Economy.

    Essentially, what CX has done. Spam A330s. For Qantas, the A330-300 was the right plane at the right time. They just didn't have enough, and didn't use them right.

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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    28 Nov, 2013 08:55 am

    I understand that these 'mini suites' take up much, much more room than the current Skybed MK1s and as a result, there will be 1/3rd less seats in the J cabin than there are now. There is only one way they will be able to make up the loss of 1/3rd of the J seats and that is by charging 1/3rd more for the new mini suites. Given they don't have the frequency or connections in Asia that their compeditors like SQ and CX already do (who have offered flat-beds in J to Asia for years) I don't know how they expect to compete. I can see QF mainline completely pulling out of Asia within 5 years.

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  • johnaboxall

    johnaboxall

    28 Nov, 2013 10:34 am

    Spot on. Will only be used by the QF desperados. 

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  • gazzman

    gazzman

    28 Nov, 2013 11:19 am

    Too little, way to late.  The QF A330 is not pleasant to fly in, especially economy. QF are already being hit by other airlines offering better product yet they are doing nothing until late next year.  There will be more pain for QF.

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  • aqua

    aqua

    29 Nov, 2013 09:36 pm

    at least they're finally getting rid of the rock hard J seats that tilt!

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