QantasLink’s fleet of 45 turboprop aircraft will undergo a major cabin upgrade to improve the overall experience for customers travelling on the airline’s regional network.
The interiors of the airline’s Bombardier Q200, Q300 and Q400 aircraft will be refreshed with new ergonomic seat cushioning, leather upholstery, a refreshed colour palette and new floor coverings at QantasLink’s maintenance facilities, including at Tamworth Airport, the airline’s hub for regional aircraft maintenance.
The upgrade program will commence by June 2018 and is expected to be completed within 18 months, with each aircraft taking approximately three days to refresh. The work will be timed to coincide with scheduled maintenance and will closely align the turboprop interiors with the QantasLink jet fleet.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the multi-million dollar investment would give regional travellers a better travel experience.
“We’re investing in our regional fleet at the same time as we are upgrading our A380 cabins so that passengers, whether they are travelling to Dubbo or Dallas, Longreach or Los Angeles, will enjoy an improved inflight experience,” said Mr Joyce.
“We’ve been connecting communities for nearly one hundred years and we’re committed to investing in our product and services in regional Australia.”
The turboprop interior upgrade project was one of a number of investments announced as part of the Qantas Group half year results today, including a new Qantas Group Pilot Academy which is expected to be based in regional Australia from 2019.
It also follows recent airline initiatives focused on regional Australia, including a discounted fares program to make it easier for residents in nine regional cities to access more affordable air transport. This applies in markets where residents are competing with a very high volume of corporate travel, specifically from the resources industry.
As part of its half year financial results, Qantas disclosed that revenue from non-corporate passengers on regional routes made up 5 per cent of the Group’s total domestic network revenue.