Qantas Plans Significant Upgrades to A380 Cabin
Qantas has quite the plans these days. After declaring yesterday that it wants to operate a nonstop flight from Sydney (SYD) to New York (JFK) even though the technology doesn't exist yet, the biggest Australian airline has also announced a major overhaul of its A380 cabins.
Due to an increase in demand for premium cabin options, the airline plans to remove 30 economy seats from the upper deck and some crew workstations, replacing them with six more business class seats and 25 more premium economy seats. It will increase the overall amount of seats on the aircraft by 1 to 485 and grow the premium economy cabin by 27%.
The project will affect 12 of the 22 A380s Qantas owns. Furthermore, it will be upgrading its current business class seats to the latest version of Qantas Business Suites — bringing the total to 70 lie-flat seats. These are more private suites compared to the current Skybeds.
New premium economy seats, which are 10% larger then the ones they will replace, will be laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration — with 60 premium economy seats total.
With the extra space from removing the crew areas the A380 will get a larger lounge area, designed by David Caon. The entire upper deck will now cater to premium passengers, with the lounge, business and premium economy cabins using all the space.
The economy cabin will receive upgraded seats with new cushions and in-flight entertainment.
And for those lucky enough to enjoy Qantas first class, they'll see minor upgrades to their suite with new cushioning, bedding and bigger, higher-res IFE screens.
Don't hold your breath though, as the renovations aren't expected to begin until the second quarter of 2019 with the upgrades being completed by the end of 2020. Qantas flies its superjumbo A380s only on select routes, with US departures from Los Angeles to Melbourne (MEL) and Sydney (SYD) and between Dallas (DFW) and Sydney (SYD).
“We’re seeing increased demand for Premium Economy and Business Class on the long haul routes that the A380 operates," said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in a statement. "Including from people using their Qantas points to upgrade. When more travelers experience these new seats, we expect that demand will keep rising."
There a couple of ways to book an award seat on a Qantas A380. Since they are part of the Oneworld alliance you can use American miles, with one-way tickets starting at 110,000 miles in first, 80,000 miles in business and 40,000 miles in economy. You can also book with Alaska miles or British Airways Avios.