Qantas reveals business class 'Business Suite' for Airbus A330

Qantas reveals business class 'Business Suite' for Airbus A330

Qantas has unveilled its all-new Business Suite business class, ahead of the seat's debut on a domestic east-west route to Perth in late December and international flights to Asia and Hawaii from January 2015.

All of Qantas' Airbus A330 jets will be upgraded to the Business Suite, which will provide every passenger with direct aisle access through a 1-2-1 layout (the middle pair of seats is shown below).

The fully lie-flat bed can be partially reclined on take-off and landing, with a mattress will be fitted to the seat before take-off, to help travellers on the relatively short overnight flights from Singapore and Hong Kong begin their snoozing before the plane takes off.

PHOTOS: Up close and personal with Qantas' next-gen Business Suite

The airline's entire A330 fleet will be upgraded by the end of 2016 with what Qantas CEO Alan Joyce described as "the best (business class) travel experience between Australia and Asia, and probably the best domestic  travel experience anywhere on the globe."

Due to the larger footprint of the Business Suite compared to the current A330 seats, the size of the business class cabin on all domestic and international A330s will be reduced to 28 seats.

However, Joyce believes that the smaller cabin will still be able to "meet the demand of our business class travellers and the requirements of customers get upgrades through points."

Joyce also confirmed that the Business Suite won't be fitted to Qantas' flagship Airbus A380s, saying "we think (the current A380) product is highly competitive on the routes it's operating on."

The Business Suite also offers ample room to spread out using the console next to each seat, while there's ample room to stow all your carry-on kit.

Today's business traveller brings on board "everything from their reading glasses to an iPad or books, a laptop, their own amenity kit" says Kylie Morris, Qantas' Head of Customer Experience.

"So we've really had to think around what devices customers are travelling with, and how we provide the right stowage locations" Morris tells Australian Business Traveller.

Morris wants Business Suite passengers to be able to stow their carry-on items "into a space right next to them where they can leave them for the entire journey but also make sure they're readily available, right at their fingertips, even during take off and landing."

Each Business Suite is fitted with a 16 inch screen, while the overhauled A330s will also sport Qantas' Q Streaming technology which beams videos and music directly to your own tablet, laptop or smartphone.

Read more: Up close with Qantas' next-gen business class

The seat has evolved several degrees from the initial illustrations shown here, however, being refined by dozens of trial runs – including sleepovers – by frequent flyers and Qantas execs.

For more on the Qantas Business Suite, watch the video below:

Also read: 10 things you didn't know about the new Qantas Business Suite

The Business Suite's December debut will give Qantas a vital head-start over Virgin Australia, which won't begin flying its own next-gen 'business/first' seats (seen below) on east-west A330 routes until March 2015. 

Read: Virgin Australia's new business class seats for Airbus A330s, Boeing 777s

Qantas is also aiming to hit a 'critical mass' with the fast roll-out of its upgraded A330s, with plans for six of the rejigged jets flying by the time of Virgin's launch – most of which are expected to be dedicated to east-west routes – and double that number when Virgin completed the refit of all six of its A330s in July 2015.

Read: Qantas Business Suite vs Virgin Australia's new business class – how they compare

Also read: Qantas Business Suite: up close with Qantas' next-gen business class

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

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.
 

40 comments

  • Dot

    Dot

    16 Oct, 2014 10:12 am

    Is that a power outlet I see inbetween the lower seat cushions at the front on the new economy seats? (Same place as the refreshed A380 economy seats)

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  • Jason Bird

    Speedbird

    17 Oct, 2014 02:35 pm

    Eagle Eyes ;-)

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  • Propofol88

    Propofol88

    16 Oct, 2014 10:36 am

    Which route will it fly on first I wonder?

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  • moa999

    moa999

    16 Oct, 2014 11:16 am

    With a domestic launch first, pretty sure you could count on SYD-PER and MEL-PER

    And would be thinking that SIN would be first International destination given QF product versus SQ

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  • David Flynn

    David

    16 Oct, 2014 11:55 am

    Given that the launch route is December, if I was Qantas I'd do Sydney-Perth, but would also be tempted to roster it onto Melbourne-Perth and Brisbane-Perth (provided passenger numbers allowed, as the revamped A330s will have fewer seats than the current ones) for some solid 'surprise and delight', which could probably also get them some good social media buzz into the bargain.

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  • therealqueen

    therealqueen
    Banned

    16 Oct, 2014 11:55 am

    It looks awfully uncomfortable , unlike the superb beds on SQ and EK. It reminds me of a trolley in an emergency department. How is one expected to sleep comfortably after a premier in hollywood. Mwahhh mwahhhhhh

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    16 Oct, 2014 02:27 pm

    interesting analogy

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  • Merc25

    Merc25

    16 Oct, 2014 01:36 pm

    looks great,look forward to using it.well done Qantas

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    16 Oct, 2014 04:33 pm

    me too..and looking forward to next Tues to see the 'real deal'

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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    16 Oct, 2014 08:14 pm

    Jeez it's a toss up between the Virgin and Qantas offerings.  Expect next Tuesday will see a more refined and developed product revealed than the initial concept diagrams. I like that QF will face forward and is not angled. But I also like the curved and softer lines of the very sophisticated Virgin suite. Either way we will be spoilt for choice. Australians have it so good when it comes to air travel.

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  • mannej

    mannej

    17 Oct, 2014 02:12 am

    EBL has been out of action for nearly a month now? Co-incidence or first cab off the rank?

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  • E K

    imxpnsv

    17 Oct, 2014 03:31 pm

    Yet I still prefer Virgin's new business class suites as it is angled seat as such give us more privacy in some way..

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  • WP_fornow

    WP_fornow

    17 Oct, 2014 03:57 pm

    Apart from "January" any idea whenwe;ll see thee seats on the SYD-SIN-SYD and SYD-HKG-SYD routes?

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  • David Flynn

    David

    17 Oct, 2014 09:39 pm

    No, and if we knew that'd be in the article. All that Qantas has said about the revamped international A330s is that the first will fly in January. There's been no mention of routes.

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  • E63AMG

    E63AMG

    17 Oct, 2014 09:35 pm

    I've heard a rumour that after the launch they will have a display set up at their Sydney domestic T3 terminal. Looks awesome and hats off to QF for launching an awesome product.

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  • Joe

    Joe

    20 Oct, 2014 01:44 pm

    I wonder how long before these seats start to droop at the leg rest too...the same fate the A380 Business Class seats now suffer. Full flat bed is untrue until this problem on the A380 is fixed.

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  • Phalanger

    Phalanger

    21 Oct, 2014 01:52 pm

    The sister seat type has held up fine on Swiss.  When going into a bed mode the whole seat lowers towards the floor, and the leg section goes into a space bellow the table in front.  So it is partially supported.

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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    21 Oct, 2014 11:49 am

    David how many new Y and J seats in the intl A330s vs the current configuration?

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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    21 Oct, 2014 12:09 pm

    What are the dimension of the new business and economy seats?

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  • am

    am

    21 Oct, 2014 12:15 pm

    They look really quite ugly compared to the old renders, hopefully that is just the photos and the cabin itself will feel nice and comfortable. 

    And is the seat leather or fabric? Half the photos seem to show (horrible) leather while others show just the headrest in leather - perhaps something to do with domestic vs international aircraft?

    Looking forward to some proper impressions tomorrow!

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  • watson374

    watson374

    21 Oct, 2014 12:22 pm

    They look quite ugly compared to the Skybed Mk II!

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    21 Oct, 2014 01:11 pm

    ok...i will bite...im interested in the reasons why?

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    21 Oct, 2014 01:08 pm

    Yes, I hope they keep the seat mostly fabric too (fabric breathes, but airlines prefer industrial leather for its low maintenance qualities). Agreed the old mock-up photo of the seat looked nicer (the actual mattress cover in particular looks daggy at the foot end), but then it's all too hard to tell until you actually see it onboard.

    I'd give it a go, but until Qantas actually have some consistency in product across A330 routes, I'm not going to make a booking just to find I'm on the sub-par old A330 seating (which is well overpriced). I'll examine the seating display at SYD T3, next time I'm in that neck of the woods.

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  • Jedinak K

    Jedinak K

    21 Oct, 2014 12:35 pm

    Looks great!

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  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    21 Oct, 2014 12:48 pm

    Can you confirm the configuration, is it 1-2-1 or 2-2-2? If its 2-2-2 then it is still behind CX.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    21 Oct, 2014 12:59 pm

    that info easily obtained in the QF press release

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  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    21 Oct, 2014 01:09 pm

    shouldnt need to go looking elsewhere, it should have been in the story, that's what is being read, not a press release.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    21 Oct, 2014 01:20 pm

    lol...basically translates to ....you're too ...lazy to punch a few extra keys to find info you require..btw this info has been lurking around on the internet for about 1 year...your laziness isnt the article writers 'fault'

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  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    21 Oct, 2014 01:55 pm

    you have that wrong completely ... i'm in the media and in PR and know how things should be written.

    ...

    it may have been "lurking around" but I am also travelling 8 months of the year and don't always have time to look at such things.

    ...

    Edited by Chris Chamberlin to remove unnecessary personal comments directed towards another reader.

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  • PeterB

    PeterB

    21 Oct, 2014 05:11 pm

    second line of the second paragraph quite clearly states it's 1-2-1 maybe reader the article properly

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  • PeterB

    PeterB

    21 Oct, 2014 05:13 pm

    sorry that should say read not reader

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  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    21 Oct, 2014 05:17 pm

    i believe that has been corrected/adjusted since the original article appeared because the same article was on yahoo news.

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  • jimmylikesitwet

    jimmylikesitwet

    21 Oct, 2014 01:33 pm

    Watch the video. Every seat has direct aisle access so 1-2-1.

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  • John Allpike

    John1960

    21 Oct, 2014 12:57 pm

    Shame on Qantas that we in the West dont have any international flights to use this product, their customers we'll be forced to use the competition

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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    21 Oct, 2014 01:00 pm

    Wow, they look brilliant. I take Watson's point that the Skybed II has an advanatge in the style stakes, but this design incorporates some key pragmatic features that will make flying so much better. It does look like a leather seat for the business suite. I think the fabric in the official video was demonstarting the new economy seat and it too looks classy.

    I guess the proof will be in the pudding. Can't wait to try it. Lucky Perth customers - a business lounge and the first to get the new interiors. Now all we need are a daily 787 to Dubai, Johannesburg, Honkers and Singapore.

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  • driley28

    driley28

    21 Oct, 2014 01:17 pm

    Looks great but it throws up another question.  This only way QANTAS is going to fit 28 seats in to an A333 (currently 30 J seats) or A332 (currently 36 recliner or angled beds) is to rip out galley space or reduce the number of economy seats to fit 28 J seats in a configuration of 1-2-1 and business will become 7 rows.

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  • therealqueen

    therealqueen
    Banned

    21 Oct, 2014 01:30 pm

    Omg is that a ski slope of a bed? Why would you bother with a product that is already obsolete! Qantas isnt capable of making long term decisions about its soft and hard product. It looks rather dull like tbe current poor j class product both domestic and international. 

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  • cloud-9

    cloud-9

    21 Oct, 2014 05:26 pm

    Not souch a suite ( a la Etihad et al ) but still a very nice seat for domestic flights

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  • ezihose

    ezihose

    31 Oct, 2014 07:52 pm

    Well they need to hurry up because i know 20 plus business class passengers that flew QF577 on VH-EBA and X Jetstar heap! 

    Seat was absolutly rotten and having flown Virgin Business class 2 days earlier for $200.00 cheaper each way, well lets just say there were a lot of flight cancellations the following day for Qantas.

    Bring back the 747's and park the A300-200 Jetstart heaps until they are fixed OR OFFER 55% price reductions!

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  • Don Joiner

    Donj

    18 Feb, 2015 06:47 am

    Qantas need to fix there on board and Check in staffing  problems instead of fixing seats   they have the wrong priorities as usual 

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19 Jul, 2019 08:47 pm

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