Qantas Is Giving Its Popular A380 Aircraft A Huge Makeover

Words by Katie Cunningham

By Katie Cunningham, 28/8/2019
Brought to you by Qantas

From essential experiences to can't-miss destinations, we've partnered with Qantas to bring you an incredible travel tale each month.

Your international flights are about to get a whole lot smoother. Qantas is giving multi-million-dollar upgrade to its A380 fleet of aircraft – which means long-haul flights with the airline are about to get even comfier for those in Economy all the way up.

Qantas A380 upgrades

The upgrades see improvements to the fleet in every class. In Economy, guests will enjoy new seat cushions and improved inflight entertainment. In Premium Economy, seats will be 10 percent wider, while layout changes designed to use space more effectively mean that there’ll be an extra 25 Premium Economy spots available on every flight.

Those flying Business Class will see the Skybed replaced with a redesigned “Business Suite”, with every seat having direct aisle access. There’ll also be more room to relax in the First and Business class inflight lounge, more storage and work spaces, and a new 16 inch entertainment screen.

Last but not least, every First Class suite is being fully refurbished in a makeover that will include contoured cushioning, a larger, higher-resolution entertainment screen, new bedding and a bespoke pillow menu.

Work on the A380 upgrade is underway, with all 12 of Qantas’ A380 aircraft expected to be upgraded by the end of 2020. Some elements of the upgrade, like a memory foam mattress and pillow menu in First Class and roomier Premium Economy seating, will be rolled out later this year.

Maximum comfort

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says the upgrades were designed to ensure long-haul flights are as comfortable as possible and to meet increased customer demand for premium cabins on flights to the US, Europe and Asia.

“Customers love the A380,” said Joyce. “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 changes mean that 30 Economy seats are being removed to create an expanded Premium Economy cabin, in line with demand for premium cabins.

“Working with Airbus we’ve been able to achieve a very efficient layout on the upper deck. Using this space to increase the proportion of premium seating improves the revenue potential and the overall economics of the aircraft,” added Mr Joyce.

“When you combine this upgrade with the other investments we’ve been making in new aircraft and new cabins, it will give us consistency with our premium seats across the A380, A330 and incoming 787 Dreamliner.”

Qantas’ A380 reconfiguration

All up, the more efficient use of space means there’ll be one additional seat on every A380 flight. The redesign has all of Economy relocating to the main deck, while all Premium and Business passengers will be seated on the upper deck. First Class will remain in its original position on the main deck.

Qantas has also flagged its A380s will be operating more regularly on routes to Asia, with more details on flight routes coming soon.

All this means that if you start planning your next holiday now, you could be among the first to enjoy the refurbished A380 fleet – which sounds pretty good to us.

What’s changing in the Qantas A380 upgrade?

Economy

  • New seat cushions and fabrics
  • Improved inflight entertainment
  • Economy relocated entirely to main deck.

Premium Economy

  • Qantas’ all new Premium Economy seat installed
  • Expanded cabin of 60 seats (up by 25)
  • Seat around 10 per cent wider than currently on A380.

Business Class

  • Introduction of next generation Business Suite
  • Aisle access for all passengers
  • More storage and work spaces
  • New 16″ IFE screen.

First Class

  • Larger high-definition IFE screens
  • New foam mattress and new bedding
  • Re-cushioned seats and new fabrics
  • Bespoke pillow menu
  • Original 14 suite design maintains high level of privacy.

Upper Deck Changes

  • All-premium upper deck
  • 30 Economy seats removed to create an expanded Premium Economy cabin
  • More efficient use of space allows 27 percent increase in premium seating
  • Larger lounge area for relaxing and dining

Check out Qantas flights to begin your next adventure.

Brought to you by Qantas

From essential experiences to can't-miss destinations, we've partnered with Qantas to bring you an incredible travel tale each month.