As Qantas' refit program for its Airbus A330 jets gains momentum the airline has now rostered the first two domestic A330s with Business Suite business class seats onto the Perth-Sydney and Perth-Melbourne redeye flights.
Those overnight flights are where travellers will most fully appreciate the fully lie-flat beds compared to the reclining seats of the original A330s.
Qantas says that the final evening services on Melbourne-Perth (QF653) and Sydney-Perth (QF583) as well as their overnight flights back to the east coast (respectively QF648 and QF568) will now run on the reconfigured A330s from Monday to Friday.
Brisbane to follow...
A third domestic A330 will rejoin the fleet in early April to bolster the Sydney-Perth and Melbourne-Perth routes as well as upgrade selected Brisbane-Perth flights, the airline says.
A second international A330-300 jet is expected to begin flying by the end of March, which will see the Sydney-Singapore QF81/82 and Melbourne-Singapore (QF35/36) flights both boasting the new Business Suites on a full-time roster rather than sharing the same jet across alternate days.
After Singapore, Hong Kong is shaping up to be the next city on Qantas’ roadmap for its upgraded Airbus A330 fleet.
Exclusive AusBT review: The Qantas Airbus A330 Business Suite
“Our focus is on Singapore and getting penetration on one route so customers will know they’re going to get that product every time” Kylie Morris, Qantas’ Head of Creative Development and Customer Experience, told Australian Business Traveller last month. “We’ll then look for penetration on other routes as the numbers (of aircraft) allow us.”
“Hong Kong is another important market for us” Morris said, “and we have aircraft flying there every day from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.”
Morris says the decisions on the A330’s roll-out include consider “our competitors on that route, how often we’re servicing that route, and markets where we can help drive revenue.”
The A330 Business Suite will eventually extend to all of Qantas' Asian destinations – Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila, as well as Honolulu – with the entire A330 upgrade program being complete by the end of 2016.
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- Qantas clarifies A330 inflight entertainment, Q Streaming
- Best seats: Qantas A330-200 domestic Business Suite business class
- Best seats: Qantas A330-300 international Business Suite international business class
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