Qantas upgrades economy seats on Airbus A330s

By David Flynn, October 20 2014
Qantas upgrades economy seats on Airbus A330s

Qantas will overhaul the economy seats across its Airbus A330 fleet at the same time as those planes are upgraded to the all-new Business Suite business class.

Read: Qantas launches new Business Suite

The airline's A330-300 aircraft which fly international routes to Asia and Honolulu will be fitted with new Recaro economy seats based on those of the Airbus A380.

Each seat includes a 'footnet' into which passengers can tuck their feet and an oversized 'multidirectional' headrest, while the armrest between seats can be fully raised for greater comfort when you're sitting with your partner (or score an empty seat next to you).

The international birds also receive an advanced inflight Panasonic entertainment system with 11.1 inch screens, but without any floor-mounted control box to steal legroom.

Those screens will carry similar content as on Qantas' flagship Airbus 380s, putting some 1500 hours of content at your fingertips.

Built into each screen is a USB port to charge up your smartphone or tablet.

There's also a laptop AC socket shared between each pair of seats.

The smaller Airbus A330-200 jets used for domestic routes – primarily the transcontinental east-west trek between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth – won't get the new benches, but Qantas promises a 'refresh' with "new cushions and more contemporary fabrics".

However, both domestic and international A330s will be fitted with Qantas' Q Streaming technology which beams videos and music directly to your own tablet, laptop or smartphone.

Video & review: Q Streaming in action

Qantas will launch the revamped A330s on east-west routes from late December 2014, with the first international flights to Asia due to take wing in January 2015.

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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.

Hope they change the seats on A380 then,flew to London in economy and arm rests do not fold up completely so had row to myself and couldn't lie down...

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 213

Hope they reduce the incline would be even better.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Oct 2014

Total posts 14

Wedge the seat buckle between the arm rest and the seat, they stay up then!

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 213

While I normally go J, if in Y sure will, thanks for the tip.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 372

This is good news and long overdue. At present, the economy product in the Qantas A330-300's serving Asian cities would have to be the worst of any of the full service carriers. Tiny screens and old seats. Looking forward to the refurb and the new product.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2199

Tiny screens and old seats indeed, but they're surprisingly comfortable on my bottom and many a time have I gone out like a light ex-SIN in these damn things.

But yes, long overdue. It was overdue five years ago.

07 Aug 2012

Total posts 193

Agreed. Old but comfortable seats. Hopefully the new seats are not just prettier but still comfortable! (unlike BA's seats on their 77W which are rock hard)

The experience on BA flights to London/Europe on the cheaptest Economy fares will be much improved with this change by Qantas! (QF metal to SIN and HKG)

Absolutely looking forward to it!

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