The best of Australian fashion, design and food are all showcased onboard the first of Qantas’ upgraded Airbus A380 aircraft, which touched back down in Sydney this morning.
All 12 of the national carrier’s A380 aircraft will be refurbished as part of a multimillion-dollar upgrade, delivering higher levels of comfort and a higher number of premium seats.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the upgrade would benefit customers in every cabin.
“Australians are used to flying long haul and we know it’s important to make the journey comfortable,” Mr Joyce said.
“We’re very proud to showcase the best of Australian design, wine and food on these services which will provide a step change in comfort.”
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 panelled walls. Customers will be able to order from a range of bespoke snacks and light meals to be enjoyed in the lounge.
The 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.
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.
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 airline has used the introduction of the upgraded A380 to roll out several improvements for passengers travelling in the airline’s First cabin including:
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 chose 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).
Qantas expects to complete the refurbishment of all remaining 11 aircraft by the end of 2020.
A factsheet on Qantas’ A380 upgrade can be downloaded here.