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Qantas’ First Upgraded A380 has Self Service bar for Premium Economy

Qantas A380 new Business Class seats

The first of Qantas’ upgraded A380s welcomed its first passengers on Oct. 1, offering a new level of comfort for customers. There are now 30 fewer Economy seats and an increase in premium seating by 27 percent.

The multimillion-dollar upgrade of 12 aircraft includes new seating across expanded Business and Premium Economy cabins and a refresh of the aircraft’s First and Economy seating. The onboard lounge has also been redesigned.

Key elements of the upgrade include:

  • The introduction of the Qantas Business Suite, replacing the previous Skybeds, in a 1:2:1 configuration that now gives aisle access to every passenger.
  • The installation of the new Premium Economy seat (first debuted on the Qantas Dreamliner) and increasing the number of seats from 35 to 60.
  • A larger on-board lounge space with seating for up to 10 Business and First passengers.
  • An update to the 14 First Class Suites with new contoured cushioning, seat finishes and a larger, higher resolution entertainment screen.
  • A new color palette for the Economy cabin and improved inflight entertainment.

Australian designer David Caon has transformed the aircraft’s upper deck lounge, which has been significantly expanded.  It now features seating for 10 people on deep green leather couches and wood paneled walls. Customers will be able to order from a range of bespoke snacks and light meals to be enjoyed in the lounge.

Qantas new A380 onboard loungeThe Caon-designed Premium Economy seat, which made its debut on the Qantas Dreamliner fleet, also features as part of the upgrade. Smarter use of space on the A380 has allowed Qantas to increase the number of Premium Economy seats from 35 to 60. In total, there is a 27 per cent boost to premium seats, improving the economics of the aircraft and allowing Qantas to respond to growing demand on long-haul flights.

The Qantas Business Suite, dubbed “mini First” by the airline’s frequent flyers, has replaced the Skybed and provides direct aisle access for every passenger.

The airline’s First cabin also includes redesigned Martin Grant sleeper suit in dark charcoal with a Henley neckline and burgundy trim introduced from November. New First amenity kits including socks made from bamboo cotton and new skin care products from Australian brand LaGaia Unedited. The LaGaia Unedited First amenities (launching onboard in November) that incorporate a Qantas-signature Australian native scent of lemon myrtle and geranium in a refreshing facial mist, accompanied by a moisturizer and lip balm. LaGaia Unedited products will be stocked in the First lavatories. From late November, LaGaia Unedited will move into Qantas’ Sydney and Melbourne First Lounge spa facilities.

The first reconfigured aircraft, VH-OQK, operated as QF2 from London to Sydney via Singapore, arrived in Australia on Wednesday 2 October.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said, “Working with Airbus, we’ve been able to use the cabin space more efficiently and improve the economics of the aircraft while also providing a better experience in every part of the aircraft. By the end of this upgrade, we’ll have next-generation seating across our entire long-haul fleet of A380s, A330s and 787s.”

Qantas chef Neil Perry and his Rockpool team have created a menu of snacks and light meals to be enjoyed by First and Business Class customers in the redesigned upper deck lounge.

Passengers will be able to choose from dishes including dry laska goreng with fishcakes and seared prawns to mushroom arancini in a tomato ragu as part of custom-designed menus for each route.

The lounge also features a new self-service bar, while customers will also be able to order signature cocktails including an Australian Negroni with mountain pepper and river mint as well as the Qantas signature gin and tonic with pink grapefruit.

Qantas’ A380s will also feature a larger dedicated Premium Economy cabin including a self-service bar.

The capacity of Qantas A380s after the upgrade will be: 14 First Suites (unchanged), 70 Business Suites (up by six), 60 Premium Economy (up by 25) and 341 Economy (down by 30) for a total of 485 passengers (up by one).

A further two A380 aircraft are expected to undergo refurbishment before the end of 2019. Qantas expects to complete the refurbishment of the remaining 11 aircraft by the end of 2020.

Each aircraft takes approximately eight weeks to upgrade.

The capacity of Qantas A380s after the upgrade will be: 14 First Suites (unchanged), 70 Business Suites (up by six), 60 Premium Economy (up by 25) and 341 Economy (down by 30) for a total of 485 passengers (up by one).





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