Qantas will upgrade its fleet of 12 Airbus A380s starting from March 2019. The overhaul project will be overseen by Airbus and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
Its 14 first class suites on the lower deck will get a complete refresh with the help of designer, Marc Newson who designed the current Qantas first suites. The new suites are tipped to include more comfort through new contoured cushioning and a larger, higher resolution entertainment screen.
The Business Class Skybeds will be replaced with the latest edition of the airline’s Business Suites which have been dubbed ‘mini first class’ suites, and will have direct aisle access at every seat.
The front of the upper deck cabin will be reconfigured as the passenger lounge takes on a redesign to provide more room for first and business class customers to dine and relax.
Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, last year said, “Customers love the A380. This upgrade is a major investment in putting the next generation of seats on the aircraft as well as more creature comforts to maintain its status as one of the best ways to fly."
“We’re seeing increased demand for Premium Economy and Business Class on the long haul routes that the A380 operates, including from people using their Qantas points to upgrade. When more travellers experience these new seats, we expect that demand will keep rising."
The multi-million dollar upgrade is a response to the demand on Qantas routes to the US, Europe, and Asia. After the upgrade, the number of First Suites will remain the same at 14 seats, with 70 Business Suites (increased by six seats).