Qantas passengers are set to enjoy a new standard of luxury on international flights to Asia, Hawaii and key domestic routes, with the airline unveiling the final design of new Business Suites to feature on its A330 fleet, to be progressively introduced from later this year.
Designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, the new Business Suite will be available on all 28 of Qantas’ A330 aircraft, offering the world’s first seats to allow customers to recline in their seat from take-off through to landing. The Suites also offer fully-flat beds and direct aisle access for every Business Class passenger in a 1-2-1 layout.
The Vantage XL seat, manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating, was developed and customised extensively by Qantas after ergonomic trials and inflight monitoring with a panel of experts and ongoing feedback from customers.
Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the airline was excited to unveil the Business Suite, which would redefine the inflight experience for customers travelling on more than 15 international and domestic routes.
“We believe this product will deliver the best travel experience between Australia and Asia, and probably the best domestic travel experience anywhere in the world. We can’t wait for our customers to experience it for themselves,” said Mr Joyce.
“We’ve listened to what matters most to our customers and done extensive ergonomic trials to deliver the highest levels of comfort, privacy and intuitive design.
“There’s enough space to eat while continuing to work, which is something our business customers said was very important to them, and plenty of storage room to keep the range of electronic devices that people now travel with.
“A key point of difference from all other carriers is that the seat can be in recline and fitted with the mattress from take-off right through to landing. With many Business passengers enjoying a meal in the lounge before travelling, this means more time to rest and sleep,” he added.
Qantas Creative Designer, Marc Newson, said that intelligent design and functionality were the guiding principles behind the new A330 Business Suites.
“The design was based on a real understanding of what Qantas customers needed on longer domestic flights and overnight international flights from Asia, with practicality, comfort, privacy and style in mind to create a relaxing environment to work, dine or sleep,” said Mr Newson.
Economy to get upgraded seat also
The Economy cabins on all international A330s will be fitted with a next-generation model of the award-winning Recaro seat, an earlier version of which has been extremely popular with Qantas customers on the A380 and refurbished B747 aircraft.
Economy seats on the A330-200s for Qantas Domestic will also be refreshed.
Each seat includes a ‘footnet’ into which passengers can tuck their feet and an oversized ‘multidirectional’ headrest
Built into each screen is a USB port to charge up smartphones or tablets.
There’s also a laptop AC socket shared between each pair of seats.
Customers in both cabins on the international A330 aircraft will be able to enjoy the latest Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system, with larger seatback touchscreens in addition to Q Streaming technology, enabling them to stream content from an extensive entertainment library directly to their own devices.
Domestic Business Class customers on A330 aircraft will also enjoy the same Panasonic eX3 system, while Economy customers will have an individual inflight entertainment experience through either seatback touchscreens or devices provided by Qantas in every seat.
The work to refresh the aircraft interiors – which will take about one month for each – will start at Qantas’ heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane next month. The first of the domestic refurbished A330 aircraft will take to the skies in late December from the east coast to Perth, and the first international A330 will begin flying in January 2015.
N.B. All Images: Qantas