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.
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.
- Up close with Qantas' next-gen business class
- 10 things you didn't know about the new Qantas Business Suite
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