Qantas is to invest almost $400 million in new international lounges, new inflight entertainment and aircraft refurbishment as part of the Qantas Group’s five-year plan. CEO Alan Joyce said: “Qantas will construct a new First Lounge and Business Lounge in Los Angeles, three times the size of the current space, as well as new First Lounges in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Over the past five years Qantas has opened new First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, a new Business Lounge in Hong Kong and upgraded its business lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth. Qantas has also upgraded its shared First and Business lounge in Bangkok and Narita.
Irishman Alan Joyce said that since the introduction of the A380, in October 2008, customer satisfaction levels have increased significantly and now the aim is to ensure consistent excellence across the fleet and lounge network. “In February last year, Qantas announced a $250 million upgrade for nine Boeing 747-400s to meet the changing demands of the airline’s international customers. The first reconfigured B747 will commence services between Brisbane and Los Angeles in October, operating three return services per week.”
The remaining eight Boeing 747s with new product will be introduced over the next 12 months across the international network, offering customers Business (including the fully flat Skybed), Premium Economy and Economy cabins, and on-demand Panasonic IFE with over 1,000 entertainment options in every seat.
Each aircraft will be fitted with 364 seats: 58 Business, 36 Premium Economy and 270 Economy. The seats in all three cabins have won awards for their design and comfort, including the 2009 Australian International Design Award for the Economy seat. All these aircraft offer the latest in comfort and design, with Panasonic on-demand inflight entertainment in every seat.
The reconfigured B747s will add further consistency to the airline’s fleet renewal programme. Seven new B737-800s are now operating on trans-Tasman routes with an eighth to arrive this week.
For the domestic network, Qantas has a total order of 24 B737-800s, offering customers the latest in comfort and design and Panasonic on-demand inflight entertainment in every seat. Eighteen of these new aircraft will feature the new Boeing Sky Interior, the first of which is set to arrive in October this year. Four new A330s with the best in premium product are also currently operating domestically.
Qantas has also invested $200 million to improve the airport experience, upgrading domestic lounges and introducing its award-winning smarter, faster check-in technology across Australia. Stage one of the international rollout of the technology will soon be available for passengers travelling to New Zealand – bringing trans-Tasman services closer to the convenience of a domestic flight.