Qantas to upgrade Boeing 767s with refresh of seats, interiors

By David Flynn, August 20 2012

Update | The first of the make-over Boeing 767s is now flying, and we've got all the details and photos – including a look at its simple but clever iPad-friendly seats!

Previous | Qantas is embarking on a multi-million dollar refresh of its Boeing 767 fleet as the airline attempts to fend off Virgin Australia in the fight for domestic market share.

16 of the aging 767s are in line for the upgrade, beginning October this year.

They'll each receive new Marc Newson interiors with what Qantas promises will be a "contemporary design".

The business class seats will be re-covered with charcoal leather upholstery, with aubergine tones in economy – you can see a preview of both in this mockup shot of the new cabin below.

Other enhancements will include new carpet, curtains and dividers plus brighter lighting.

The aircraft will also be equipped with iPads for use as inflight entertainment, with movies, TV shows and music beamed via WiFi to each tablet over the Q Streaming system.

The iPads will be offered free of charge to travellers in business and economy, supplanting the handful of small screens which currently hang from the 767's ceilings or are fixed into the bulkhead.

In another previously-announced refurb project, Qantas will trial a new overhead bin system for its Boeing 737-800 aircraft that's designed to fit not only larger carry-on bags, but more of them.

Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.

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.

Qantas

10 Sep 2011

Total posts 162

Handing out rolls of aricraft-grade to passengers as they boarded the plane to stop the plastic panelling falling around the place must have been getting expensive!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 99

One wonders how much money Qantas is prepared to spend upgrading it's old, fuel-inefficient aircraft while hoping for a miracle to turn-around the performance of its international business.

DGP
DGP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jan 2012

Total posts 170

And yet Jetstar are the first to get the B787's in the group. 

Most people wouldn't keep a car for 20 years let alone a plane flying as long as these work horses have.

AlG
AlG

04 Nov 2010

Total posts 674

Once again, Qantas = rock vs hard place... no easy solutions until the 787s arrive, even though it's Jetstar which gets these first, but will let Qantas take the JQ A330s and retire these 767s. But as many before have argued, why on earth is JQ getting the 787s before QF? If Qantas could stick a bunch of 787s onto the triangle and especially east-west routes they'd surely win a MAJOR public relations coup AND drag in the customers AND get much greater fuel efficiency into the bargain.

05 Jun 2012

Total posts 5

yes funny isn't it.  a few years ago when QF cancelled a couple of 787s, about 4 of them were early build ones that were around LN20. In other words, QF group would be getting 787s right about now :/  and i dare say they would already have some delivered

However I don't really see much point using 787s on the triangle except for 1 or 2 publicity runs. 787s are fuel efficient thanks to their engines, and if you leave the 787s on the tarmac for so long there isn't much benefit cost wise. TCON's are deefinitely more suited :P

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 673

Playing armchair CEO for a second, I wonder whether the fuel efficiency gains of an early, potentially overweight 787 are significant over the relatively late-model 767-300ERs (the late 1990s/2000 birds) that Qantas has in its fleet, especially on the Triangle. From a passenger perspective, of course, the 787 would be an improvement -- but significantly on a 1/1.5 hour flight? I'm not sure it's that big a win. (The PR win, though, would be a big one.)

RR
RR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 64

So which 767's are they refreshing? the photos make it look very cramped. Is it just the 2-2-2 767's being updated? the 1-2-2 across 767's already have more space than what is shown here. Agreed on the 787's. Qantas need to lift their game. It took Virgin with a 2-2-2 A330 to embarrass QF into dropping the middle seat on their 2-3-3 A330's - what an miserable experience that was in the middle seat overnight Perth to Sydney, and at an outrageous price. I have had good experience with QF in business internationally, especially the A380 but domestically they overcharge and under deliver. I don't care if it's an old 767 - just winch the seats apart a bit and give us some space for the $$$

RR
RR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 64

sorry, that is 2-3-2 A330's...getting too excited

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2012

Total posts 268

C'mon Qantas! Why are you upgrading aircraft? Who wants to see old aircraft? I understand that they will feature a new livery but the aircraft is fuel in-efficient. I understand that Jetstar will get 787s and pass their A330s to Qantas who will retire their refitted 767s. I have to admit their refit looks really nice from the PR shots and I wouldn't disagree that it is a "contemporary design" but shouldn't we keep them a year or two rather than wasting money on this. I haven't seen these seats on any Qantas aircraft before, so I hope this will be good.

JBH
JBH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 May 2012

Total posts 118

To those at QAN in charge of these poor decisions, get a grip, get out, understand and relate to your customers, mould the right products, a proactive not re-active style will surely help you.  Listen very closely to your customer feedback, re-think your KYC policy if it still exists.

08 Aug 2011

Total posts 3

Hrmm... this so called contemporary design looks a little too close to Jetstars A330's if you ask me...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2012

Total posts 126

Yes, I agree the 'contemporary design' is almost identical to Jetstar. You'll even notice in the photo, (apart from the browny orange coloured arm rests which for some reason reminds me of Jetstar) that the handy upper seat pocket that nicely sat my iPad (using my ipad cover) at eye level while I enjoyed a meal has disappeared, which leaves only the one (lower) seat pocket in front of you - how contemporary! Yes, of course Jetstar did exactly the same for their seat which is almost identical, the only difference visually is the stitching on the leather. Why make it impossible to enjoy your meal and watch the iPad at the same time, particularly given the heavy investment in the iPad technology from Qantas. Sounds like the approach of a low-cost carrier to me. Also, I hope the lavatories are given a better make-over as well. Finally, I personally enjoyed the subtle indirect warm lighting in the current business cabin. I hope the "brighter lights" are not like the bright fluorescent type lights gracing Jetstars aircraft - let's hope for more mood lighting instead.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

18 Jul 2011

Total posts 7

Until the 787s arrive, this is the best that can be done and it is surely a good move for passengers. The iPad programme is a major step in the right direction even without the refurbs. The early 787s that where cancelled where likely the ones chosen due to them being the ones that are overweight and under-spec compared to LN40+ or so. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 39

My guess is Allan Joyce is giving the new 787s to Jestar to entice customers over and allow Qantas to be run into the ground and dismantle it. Piece by slow painful piece.

07 Apr 2011

Total posts 5

What happened to a consistent domestic product? Red leather in business class seatback scrreens like on the latest 738s BSI?

DGP
DGP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jan 2012

Total posts 170

I really hope the 767's that service the Honolulu route are going to get an upgrade first.  For a 10 hour flight, that product is really inferior and below par especially for Business Class which is always full.

We have had Business Class clients cancel their QF flights when they saw on the itinerary it was operated by a B767.  Hawaiian now have the best non-stop hard product from Sydney to Honolulu. 

23 Aug 2011

Total posts 59

I don't think you have to worry about 767's to HNL this route is going! JQ will take over all HNL flights.

It is pity that Joyce doesn't understand how a premium carrier works, you need to invest in the product and stop talking the International division down all the time.

Ironically most of the a380 design, airport upgrades, including the F lounges was done under Borghetti’s watch and while Joyce and his team continue to waste money on cosmetic things QF will continue to drift along and lose money.

 I am a QF platinum FF and obviously very sad with some of the mooted changes a foot; cancelling of FRA route, new code share partners, you can imagine how you will be treated by EK as a QF FF!  

While no one can expect an airline to operate a route that is not profitable, you would have thought that they would have looked at their fleet renewal programme much earlier and maybe some of these changes would not be happening.

I still thing the QF staff are great and frankly don’t know how they keep uo a smile and positive attitude, I have 2 more Mel/Fra J flights booked on QF this year but guess will  I will have to look at an alternate carrier.

12 Jul 2011

Total posts 76

The pattern on those curtains and the divider panels is disgusting. That'll become dated in 5 mins flat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 99

@John - those Airfleets dates are the delivery dates. To see the age of the aircraft you need to click the Registration link. Do this & you'll find the 767s are between 6.6 & 22.5 years old 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Jan 2012

Total posts 335

Absolutely sure this isn't JQ? :D

23 Aug 2011

Total posts 59

Yea it looks a bit orange to me maybe that's part of the game plan to slowly intergrate the fleet. JQ/QF

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Feb 2011

Total posts 54

Time to switch all 50 staff to Virgin. The 767 planes should have been sold for scrap or better still pushed to Jet Star and the A330's that Qantas lease to Jet Star could be used on the right side of the fence.

Qantas

15 Mar 2013

Total posts 4

I've just flown Sydney to Perth on one of these upgraded 767's.  The economy class seats are terrible, they're definitely smaller and have less room than the older versions (I travel with the same person regularly and we were crammed this flight).  I had to use my left hand to eat my meal (I'm right handed) as I couldn't use the right due to lack of space.  I also had to get up and walk around several times due to a sore back (first time in twenty years of regular flying).  The iPad things are great but you can't hear due to the cheap ear buds and engine noise.  Combined that with no more ice cream and paper cups for coffee and I give Qantas a 1 out of 10 for this idea.


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