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Airline seats are the new battleground for aviation flash and Qantas' investment in improving the designs and experience of flights primarily headed to Asia shows where its priorities lie.

In an effort to stand out in Australia’s increasingly competitive air market, Qantas used the occasion of its annual financial report yesterday to unveil designs of its new business and economy class.

The new Business Suites, designed by Qantas Creative Director Marc Newson, will be on 10 international and 20 domestic Airbus A330 jets starting in late 2014.

The seats recline into a fully-flat beds with direct aisle access and feature side consoles large enough for workaholics to eat and look at laptop at the same time. Qantas’ proprietary Q-Streaming entertainment technology will also be available in all seats.

Economy seats will be slightly updated to offer more legroom on international routes and new cushions on domestic flights.

Standing Out

Qantas boasts that its business class lie-flat seats can remain in the recline position for take-off and landing, which it calls its “a key differentiator” between itself and other airlines flying to Asia.

That’s because Qantas is not only competing with Virgin Australia in an increasingly crowded air space, but with budget airlines such as Scoot and AirAsia X on lucrative overseas routes as well.

Qantas’ regional arm QantasLink will also get a little fancier.

Five of its Boeing 717 fleet will be outfitted with a new Business class cabin, redesigned economy class, and iPad entertainment in every seat.

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Tags: airline seats, qantas

Photo credit: All new Business Class cabins will be unveiled on Qantas' domestic and international Airbus A330 fleet in late 2014. Qantas / Qantas

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