Qantas has announced that its highly anticipated refurbished Airbus A380 will be operational by the end of September, according to Executive Traveller. The first of the four spruced up aircraft will go live next month, with three more due to join the company’s fleet by the end of the year.
Across the network
Rather than operating the redesigned aircraft on a particular route, Qantas has confirmed that the four new airliners will be shared across the carrier’s A380 network. This means that the refurbished planes could appear on routes to Singapore, London, Los Angeles and Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told Executive Traveller that passengers utilising these new aircraft will experience “surprise and delight” at their sheer quality. Qantas has placed a particular emphasis on the premium experience with these aircraft, offering improved business class seats and lounges and enhanced first-class suites.
As part of the refurbishment, business class and premium economy seats have been upgraded to the latest designs that already feature in Qantas’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
There are also plans to further upgrade the A380 stock of Qantas over the longer term, with Joyce indicating that the company will attempt to upgrade one aircraft every month, although this will be dependent on satisfactorily completing certain maintenance checks. And Joyce also announced that Qantas is committed to using this new configuration of the A380 for the next decade.
Designer Marc Newson has worked on the refit of the A380s, with the new design including larger HD video screens for passengers. The interior of the first-class cabin also benefits from some of the design parameters already included in Qantas airport lounges.
Passengers on the revamped aircraft will also benefit from improved seating, with the original Skybed II seats replaced with the Business Suite already included in the Dreamliners. This system features a movable divider between the middle seats in the aircraft, enabling travellers to experience enhanced privacy when required.
Business travellers will also enjoy the refurbished aircraft, with the business suites aboard the new A380s having been significantly improved over the old design. There is direct aisle access for every passenger, while bump-free flatbeds are also included. Qantas also notes that every business class passenger will enjoy ample storage and workspace, with enlarged 16-inch HD video screens made available to passengers as well.
More premium seats
Alan Joyce told Executive Traveller that the new A380s will benefit from 30% more premium seats, and that this was indicative of how well the premium market is performing for Qantas.
And plenty of thought has gone into the seating arrangement in the new aircraft, with the carrier confirming that spacing will resemble the set-up with Dreamliners. The cramped layout of the previous A380 design has been a perennial bugbear of passengers, so this more spacious approach sounds promising.
Are you excited to check out the new Qantas A380? Let us know in the comments.