Qantas reveals inaugural routes for A330 with new Business Suite

By David Flynn, December 9 2014

Qantas has started to draw back the curtain on early routes for its upgraded Airbus A330s, today revealing inaugural domestic and international routes for the big birds with their all-new Business Suites.

As expected, the first domestic service for the A330 will run between Sydney and Perth "in late December".

On the international front, the daily Melbourne-Singapore QF35/QF36 flight will be the first with the A330 from mid-January.

Qantas says that more than half of its A330 fleet is expected to be refurbished by the end of December 2015.  

The airline's next-gen business seats convert into a fully flat bed just over 2 metres (80 inches) long and 63.5cm (25 inches) wide, with the ability to have the seat partially reclined during a flight's taxi, take-off and landing stages.

Each Business Suite has a 16 inch video screen and is also wired – or should we say, unwired – for Qantas' Q Streaming wifi system, which lets passengers watch inflight movies and TV shows on their own tablet or smartphone.

In domestic skies the Qantas Business Suite will go up against Virgin Australia's new business class seat, which Virgin CEO John Borghetti has described as 'more of a business/first product'.

Like the Business Suite, Virgin's seat – which will debt from March 2015 on east-west routes – adopts a 1-2-1 layout to provide direct aisle access for every passenger.

Virgin's seat also converts into a fully-flat bed and sports a 16 inch video screen.

Read more: Up close with Virgin Australia's new business class seats for Airbus A330s, Boeing 777s

Earlier this week Joyce revealed that Qantas expects to report a $300-350 million profit for the six months from July to December, with all divisions of the airline – including its beleaguered international arm – tracking back into the black.

The result is largely driven by Qantas' cost-cutting and efficiency drive and bolstered by increased passengers and revenue following a cease-fire in the 'capacity war' between Qantas and Virgin Australia, along with the falling cost of jet fuel.

If achieved, it could represent a more-than-$500 million turnaround compared to Qantas' underlying loss of $252 million over January-June 2014.

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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.

20 May 2014

Total posts 79

But which flight numbers?  Did they say?  Have they already loaded the seat maps in?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2341

RealKid - if they told us flight numbers we'd have reported that.

25 Jul 2011

Total posts 14

Did they mention which tails had been upgraded?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

Why? Oh why, is this not making its way onto the A380's and (small number of remaining) B747's?  This looks like a big step up from the current SkyBed II; the direct aisle access, greater privacy and plentiful storage would be very welcome on the long treks between Europe and the USA!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1380

Because the A330s have a much worse product and are in desparately in need of it. COnverting them is going to take the better part of 2 years.

After that (and when the A380s are getting to about 8-10yrs - first delivery was late-2008) I would expect them to start looking at new product for the A380

Very unlikely the remaining 9-747s (which will all have SkyBed2s) once the last of the older ones  (with First and SkyBed1s) are retired, will ever get another update.

Any mature airline will never have a totally consistent fleet

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 128

not really QF can convert them if they want, it just costs more

it would just cost more

really cause CX for example hasa consistent product on all Long-haul flights...

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 128

and VA is going to put its new cabins on routes competing with the A380...

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

it wont dent/affect QFs market share/profis on the LAX routes...( and even on a330 domestic 'coast to coast')...I doubt QF is too worried about the new VA J/C as VA cant provide the schedules/options that QF can/do....they will co-exist

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1229

It just costs more... yeah money grows on trees mate. Any business needs to get a return on investments. Hopefully QF looks at A380s post A330's,  but I'd suggest ordering some 787s should be a higher priority. 

Does CX still have A340s or 747's in their fleet? Pretty sure that product ID subpar to their 777-3

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 514

The 747's are long gone but some A340-300's remain, only on a few long hauls, mostly now regional. But the poster was talking about consistancy on long haul.

CX is conistant on long haul, except the A340-300's they are reitring. Qantas is in the same boat long haul, Skybed MKII on all 747's except the last few going soon and on all A380's.

The CX A330's are of course mid haul/regional. Cathay certainly doesn't have a consistant product in this sector, even on aircraft of the same type. A330's for exmaple. So not sure if the comparision is valid.

Other airlines the same. SQ, inconstant product mid haul, Thai the same could go on.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 403

CX do still have 747-400s. According to Airfeets.net, 7 of them.  I flew in one from Tokyo to Hong Kong earlier this year.  True they are replacing them with 777-300ERs, but still some to go.  (They also have a large fleet of 747 freighters, both -400 and -800)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 13

Totally agree, although the economics probably dont add up. After flying home this morning on the A380 from LA in Business I can now easily atest that the SkyBed II is no longer fully flat bed, fully reclined I was at a considerable angle, that said I did still manage about 6 hours sleep but did notice each time I woke up that I was laying at an angle. I was flying on Nancy Bird Walton and the seat was well and truly showing signs of age. The cushions were no longer as plush (which is to be expected) however some around my lower legs were downright uncomfortable, and the lack of storage on any seat except the window seats (with the small locker under the window) make me really wish the new Business Suite was being rolled out across the A380 & B747 fleets.

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 152

Fully agree re sky bed 2. It's a real pain now - the foot rest droops badly, the cushions aren't and the screen is small and awkward to use. It's not a product that can justify a premium price these days. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

Totally agree the SkyBed II is showing its age in terms comfort, amenity and plentiful signs of wear and tear.  The slip on padded covers only mask the disminished cushioning, the IFE screens are too small and awkwardly positioned and on the A380 there's a terrible lack of privacy in Business Class.

25 Jul 2011

Total posts 14

Keep in mind that the seat is not everything. IMHO, Qantas does a real good job of cabin management on long haul. This starts with 'eat before you fly', continues with 'maximise my rest', and they have thought about keeping the cabin dark and quiet (as far as they can).

I'd rate them better than any of the rest in the OneWorld group on looking fret a business traveller.

Having said that, it does seem strange that they are using their new product on the mid length Singapore sectors (just too short for effective rest on a red eye). Shanghai would make more sense to me as a start.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 14

Guess we will be missing out on the upgrade, we fly business to Hong Kong early March...Will book else were in future until the upgrades are done, Im sure we pay the same amount of money for a good seat as a bad one..!!


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