Qantas Unveils New Business Suites to Attract Competitors’ Customers

Skift Take

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.

— Samantha Shankman

All new Business Class cabins will be unveiled on Qantas’ domestic and international Airbus A330 fleet in late 2014.

Seats recline into a fully lie-flat bed and give passengers direct access to the aisle. Seats can be kept in the recline position for take off and landing.

A large console gives passengers room to eat while they work.

International Economy Class seats will offer more legroom and comfort. Domestic Economy Class seats will be updated with new cushions and seat fabric.

Qantas’ Q-Streaming technology will be added to A330s’ existing Panasonic in-flight entertainment systems. The amount of content will increase from 300 hours to over 1,500 hours in all cabins on the international fleet.

Five new Boeing 717 jets will join QantasLink. The new jets with feature a Business class cabin and iPad entertainment in every seat.

Five new Boeing 717 jets will join QantasLink. The new jets with feature a Business class cabin and iPad entertainment in every seat.

Qantas Domestic’s 13 B717s will be upgraded with new interiors in an all-economy configuration.

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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