Qantas revamps Airbus A330s with an extra business class loo

By David Flynn , March 8 2018
Qantas revamps Airbus A330s with an extra business class loo

Qantas will give six of its domestic Airbus A330-200 jets an "international upgrade" to a similar spec as their A330-300 cousins, and says the final two jets featuring the the original Skybed business class will also be fitted with the new Business Suites.

A spokesman for Qantas confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the six jets getting a re-refurb will gain a second toilet in the business class cabin – something that's been much-needed when those aircraft are rostered onto long Asian routes.

Further feature comforts for business class passengers will see the galley kitchen fitted with a toaster and an espresso machine, while the enlarged galley will be able to support a second full meal service – again, handy when the domestic jets are pressed into international service.

The rejig will result in one less business class seat, with the tally dropping from 28 to 27, while the covers of those seats themselves will be switched from leather to fabric.

The overhauls will run from May 2018 through to December 2018 and joining those six jets in the Brisbane hangar will be one of the two remaining A330-200s which still have the previous-generation Skybed business class seats. Its sibling will follow in 2019, the Qantas spokesman confirmed.

The entire 12-strong A330-200 fleet will then trundle back into the hangar from early 2019 to be equipped with Qantas' satellite WiFi system, with the airline expecting most of the jets to be WiFi'd by the end of the year.

Read: Qantas delays Airbus A330 WiFi rollout to 2019-2020

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

MarkJohnSon Banned
MarkJohnSon Banned

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 89

That's great progress from Mr. Joyce and the team at QF. VA, eat your heart out!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Nov 2015

Total posts 10

I genuinely don't understand the club mentality. Surely any innovation from one airline benefits everyone as other airlines try to keep up. Unless QF are paying you I don't get the competitive streak in your post.


Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

His point is fair. Good airlines responds to constructive criticism.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 705

Yes, they have responded to criticism but it is hardly progress. The lack of loos was an obvious issue from the start; there was also criticism that the leather seating was less comfortable than the fabric on the A333s.


As far as the coffee, this is catch up with many airlines including SQ and VA already having espresso machines on their Asian services.

Now they are in the mood to respond to criticism, let's hope they do something about the terrible outcome with the W class seating on the 787s.

MarkJohnSon Banned
MarkJohnSon Banned

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 89

To all the critics, the point I am getting across is that QF has been a well-run, and well-managed airline, and it shows through examples like this. The same can not be said for VA.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1389

One would hope that these international aircraft will also come with an agreement to use satellites other than just SkyMuster

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 570

That is why they are not being fitted now. They need a different provider.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jan 2015

Total posts 59

Great news. The extra loo up front will be appreciated

It can't come soon enough. My recent trip to CGK was in one of the 330 with a singular toilet in J, for both flights. Not something I am keen to experience again but sadly I will head back to CGK again soon before any of this upgrading happens.

02 Nov 2017

Total posts 35

Glad to hear the old skybed mk1 will finally be going the way of the dodo! The new J product is leaps and bounds ahead.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Dec 2012

Total posts 20

Hopefully, one of them will fly the PER-SIN route, instead of the current B737.

24 Mar 2016

Total posts 13

Couldn't agree more PER-SIN is a joke in a B737. Especially now extra legroom seats are $90 each way and even then it's barely bearable.

05 May 2016

Total posts 576

You can fly direct non-stop PER-LHR. No need to stop in SIN on the way.

I doubt QF would want to cannibalise demand for J on the direct flight by making J too good on the PER-SIN flight.

QFF

06 Nov 2012

Total posts 47

What's it got to do with London? A lot of people fly to Singapore without going on to Europe, and at the moment Singapore Airlines are eating Qantas' lunch with four wide-body flights a day. All Qantas can offer is a 737.

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 8

Pretty difficult to justify anything larger than B737’s considering QF is O&D focused whilst SQ offer extensive onwards connections.

07 Dec 2016

Total posts 34

Why do you assume everyone wants to go to LHR? Most of us work in Asia and Changi is a marvellous hub. Absolutely refuse to go on a ridiculous QF 737, when Singapore Airlines has three flights a day at least between Per and Sin in 777's.


08 Feb 2018

Total posts 89

I think 2x 737 per day is a better level of service then 1x 330

I just wish they’d give a bit more legroom on 737 flights >4 hours, perhaps a mid-haul subfleet would do the job but I understand the advantages of 100% fleet commonal

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 325

This has been rumored for quite some time now. I am surprised it has taken this long to get it sorted.

27 Jan 2016

Total posts 53

I wonder if this means these 330's will be destined to more international routes and scale back the domestic.

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 8

The international A330 flying excluding NZ uses up 14-15 frames a day so 16 A330’s would cover existing routes.

10 Nov 2017

Total posts 2

Perhaps they could also force the entitled unionised cabin crew to clean the toilets during the flight so they remain in a hygienic state!

21 May 2017

Total posts 2

Maybe if the entitled pax learnt to use a toilet properly and not leave toilet paper everywhere and not clean up after themselves like a considerate human being, then it would be easier to look after the toilets

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 95

A bit of balance here is necessary, sir.

 
Whilst there is no doubt there a lot of pax who have no regard for others in their treatment of aircraft toilets as if they were using a public toilet or that at a suburban pub. That said, it is equally fair to say that more can be done by staff to keep them clean and fresh, especially on long haul flights.
 
Like a good restaurant or hotel, it is incumbent upon the staff to maintain the amenity of the toilets, particularly in J. It isn’t an excuse to say that joe public with no manners and poor hygiene are responsible and do nothing.

05 Jan 2018

Total posts 27

I dont believe the passengers on SQ or CX are cut from a superior cloth because in spite of Joe Sixpack's best efforts at being tardy, those planes have sparking lavs beginning to end. Me thinks its the paid QF staff not the paying public who might be the weak link in the chain here.

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 8

The international A330 flying excluding NZ uses up 14-15 frames a day so 16 A330’s would cover existing routes

26 Jul 2016

Total posts 4

I always thought it was a silly decision to have only one J class toilet on these planes. My last A332 flight was SYD-MEL and even on such a short flight there were three J pax queuing to use the one toilet.


I wonder how much revenue QF will loose by having 1 less J seat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 May 2016

Total posts 17

Well done Qantas! It's about time to upgrade your last two international A330. Seriously, not good enough for long haul regional flights.

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 183

“Virgin eat your heart out”, I doubt they would be remotely interested in this announcement, all their 330’s are fully configured in the new suites, along with 2 J toilets in the 330 from day one. The 777’s likewise all have suites and 3-4 J toilets.

If your referring to this airline, however for it, is a step forward.

DCW
DCW

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 May 2014

Total posts 19

18 332
VH-EBA-EBG, EBJ-EBS and EBV
10 333
VH-QPA-QPJ

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 90

About time. QF spend far too much time on non core issues, gender equity, climate change. Its an airline, deliver better service at better prices. Joyces priorities are wrong.......he worries about his bonus then his personal agenda items and if there is time and money left, maybe the customers.


QF regard customers as self loading cargo.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 226

Corporate social responsibility is not a non core issue. Some organisations went so far as to begin sole contracts with the QF Group due to their CSR policies.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Aug 2017

Total posts 17

Um so that's why virgin has increased to 47% of corporate market. Virgin has by far a better business product than qantas these days. If qantas hasn't peaked they are very close.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1255

If Virgin is holding nearly half of the corporate market, their profit should be significantly higher than it is.


Also product is often a mute point. Domestically, you will likely be on a 737 - not much difference between the two. If your business was taking you to LA - well VA 777s are great and now with HKG in the mix....

But not too many corporates will make airline decisions purely on the basis of superior product on two routes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Aug 2017

Total posts 17

Not suggesting that decision is made on product. But doubt a decision would be made because of Qantas great corporate social responsibility! The $2B loss, staff lockout and reduction in decent jobs (transitioning to fewer casual crap jobs) as a result of the Qantas "transformation" are lost on some due to the clever but unsustainable marketing. And as a P1 / P flyer over the last 10 years the Qantas customer experience has not kept up. Every time I hop on a Virgin flight I am impressed with their product development since the previous experience - the VA brand doesn't have the benefit of nearly 100 years of development.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1255

No sorry, I don't understand your point. Virgin does what virgin does and Qantas does what Qantas does... If you like virgins product, fly virgin.


What I am suggesting, is that if VA is holding 47% of the corporate market, then their profit should be more in line with QF's - with or without clever marketing.

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 301

Thanks for the update David. Always good to read about improvements from any airline, good on QF here.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Feb 2018

Total posts 2

none of the qantas a330s are actually much cop... Much more impressed by SQ/CX A350s or Emirates 777s to Asia.


Is really a very ordinary product at a premium price.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 147

Except the 777's tend to be a lot noisier...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Feb 2018

Total posts 2

Never noticed the noise. Just the crappy seats, and awful seat pitch.


I spend a lot of time each month on A330s to Asia and I’d choose a 777 or 747 over those every time - Almost irrespective of carrier. Was so glad at last minute I decided to come back from Tokyo via Sydney on a 747 service - was so much better than the a330 going there.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1255

You prefer to fly Emirates 777 with angle business seat in 2-3-2 configuration?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Aug 2017

Total posts 22

I can’t believe it had taken QF this long to do something about it. EBG & EBL are embarrassing for QF business class passengers. Singapore Airlines have old J class but at least you know what flights they are on so you can avoid them.

QF it’s totaly random. Domestic, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Auckland.
I thought they would have done them while they had 787-9s before PER-LHR starts.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 490

What a joke...they take away a lav then it's major news when they put back what should never have been taken away in the first place! And some here are congratulating them...What does taking away a lav tell you about Qantas priorities...they. dont care about passengers, premium ones at that. I'd have to agree; they see passengers as nothing more than self loading cargo.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 147

Since my previous comment was (probably rightly) deleted... I don't understand the complaints about the lack of loo's . I've never had to wait more than a few minutes for a J class loo on a QF flight - even when there was only one, and thats a good opportunity to stretch ones legs a bit. The A330 business class is really very good, in general.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 705

The real issue with the toilets on the longer flights was when people changed into and out of their pyjamas. For the last hours or so of a flight from SIN, it was impossible to access the toilet and I found it easier to head back into Y class.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

What I struggle with, is why does Qantas try to keep updating these old worn out and tired JQ aircraft instead of just buying new aircraft with new seats, galleys, toilets and wifi already built in along with fuel saving and far more efficient engines. If the fares need to go up to pay for it, so be it as I am happy to pay for a decent aircraft over these repainted and renovated old clunkers!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 719

Traveller, they will be replaced when their life is up (retiring before fully depreciated has a cost) probably in the early 2020s and they may have the new Boeing mid size plane in their sights for it QF say the current offerings are too heavy for the short flights (<6hr). The 787-10 may replace the A333s for the 6-10hr flights.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1255

The oldest QF A330-2 had first flight in 2002. The majority of them started flying between 2007 and 2011 - these are not old airframes.

QF

21 May 2014

Total posts 24

Q,R,S spent a couple of years at JQ, however these 6 332's are amongst the youngest in the fleet along with the other 3 in line for this second refurb (O, P and V).

Compared to the 767's in their final years, these are hardly clunkers yet.

RT
RT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2017

Total posts 5

This may explain why the earlier of the 2 A330 BNE-PER has been replaced by a 737. Booked in September, they changed it about a month ago. Frustrating when you book around a particular plane/spec.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Nov 2013

Total posts 23

Excellent news!. I hope I hope my jet from Sydney to Honolulu is one of the revamped ones when I fly in August and September.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 388

Are EBL and EBL getting brand new economy seats like those on the A330-300s?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 321

David, will these aircraft also receive an updated economy cabin to reflect the A300-300 series upgrade?

I’m just so happy that VH-EBG & VH-EBL are finally getting the revamps to Business Suites. Yesterday I purchased a MEL-SYD-PEK return on QF107/108 in November 2018, online seat selection still shows the current 2-2-2 configuration. I guess unless the “sibling” is scheduled for a maintenance, it’ll still be 2-2-2 for me - I’m never lucky to score the Business Suites on the Peking route. Last year I was quite hopeful, then flew the 2-2-2 three times; given QF’s 333s have appeared on SYD-PEK route quite frequently, I consider that somewhat unlucky. However this year, I’ll keep my expectation to the absolute minimum before flying, hahaha!


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