Qantas will upgrade its entire fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft to add more economy class seats, and in many cases beam movies, TV shows and music via WiFi to passenger's own iPads and other devices.
The first of the refurbished Boeings, which are the backbone of Qantas' domestic operations, will take to the skies by the end of this month.
Like those which follow it will be fitted with an extra row of economy seats, although Qantas pledges there will be no reduction in legroom, with the extra space created by reconfiguring the galley areas and installing 'slimline' lavatories.
During the works, each Boeing 737's cabin will also receive a refresh.
Qantas’ current configuration makes room for 12 business class and 156 economy passengers in its 737s for a total of 168 seats. The extra row will increase that count by 3% to 174 seats.
(In comparison, Virgin Australia has eight business class and 168 economy class seats on its Boeing 737s for a slightly higher total of 176 seats.)
29 of Qantas’ Boeing 737s feature personal screens with a 'video on demand' system.
38 of the airline's older Boeing 737s, which currently pump out entertainment via overhead screens and radio channels, will have the Q Streaming WiFi entertainment system installed so that passengers can beam 400 hours of content onto their own devices such as laptops, tablets and even smartphones.
Around half of Qantas’ 67 Boeing 737 aircraft will receive their make-over at the airline's Brisbane maintenance facility, while the rest will go under the knife in Sydney.
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