Lie-Flat Seats for Qantas A330 Business Class
28th Feb 2013
Keeping the bar higher seems to be the mantra of Qantas to keep its captive market of domestic and international business travelers flying with them. The Red Roo is now in the process of upgrading its A330s with new lie-flat seats in its business class. By 2015, the business class of its entire fleet of 30 Airbus A330 aircraft will be outfitted with this type of seats.
The flag carrier has shunned the Marc Newson Skybeds and instead opted for the completely-new lie-flat seat design. The Skybeds are found in the carrier's jumbo A380 fleet.
Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce, couldn't contain his excitement saying in jest that he could 'swim in the seats' given his size. He added that the new seats will certainly offer utmost comfort to business travelers, especially on long-haul flights, with generous legroom for relaxation and even working while on flight.
He further boasted that the lie-flat seats are the best product of in-flight service a domestic airline could ever have. It seemed like a giant leap over what their competitors are doing at the moment.
He continued that the new service will enable the airline to keep its ratings high both in domestic and international routes. The constant upgrade to improve its in-flight service has kept its captive corporate market and has even drawn more and more business travelers to fly with Qantas.
When pressed on the specifics of the seats, Joyce begged off to divulge the details but promised to the media that complete information will soon be issued in due time.
The upgrade will come in batches of course as they can't afford to have all the aircraft refitted all at once. But he advised that the upgrade will happen during the aircraft's maintenance period so as not to interrupt its regular service unnecessarily. He said, however, that as soon as they take delivery of the seats, they will immediately carry out the refitting works. The fleet to be refitted consists of 10 Airbus A330-300 and 20 Airbus A330-200 aircraft.
Aside from the business class upgrade, the airline will also install new inflight entertainment system and brush up its economy cabin.
The CEO was proud to declare that with the improved business class service Qantas International will easily become a true global airline offering a truly world-class service. He promised that their loyal and would-be customers will find the new lie-flat seats the best product on board, especially for business travelers.
The national flag carrier doesn't want to repeat its mistake last year on its decision to install the same aircraft with the simple recliner seats in business class for its domestic routes.
Aside from ordering 5 new Boeing 737-800s for its domestic service, Qantas will also extend its lease of the current fleet of B737 aircraft while terminating the service of the aging B737-400s later this year and, by mid-2015, its B767.
By: Pete Lee.