UPDATE | Qantas' first refitted Dash 8 aircraft – a Bombardier Q300 – takes to the skies today with an upgraded cabin interior for regional flyers, with the Roo's other Q200, Q300 and Q400 turboprops to follow.
The most noticeable change is new leather upholstery on every seat throughout the cabin, which also packs "ergonomic seat cushioning", says Qantas.
Most passengers can also make use of new tablet device holders fitted to the seat in front of them, suitable for hanging iPads and the like while keeping the tray table free for meals and drinks.
There are a few exceptions, such as for passengers seated in row 1 aboard the Bombardier Q300s, as seats 1A and 1B directly face the crew, and seats 1C through 1F face each other on either side of the emergency exit, with two passengers travelling 'backwards' in 1E and 1F:
Qantas has confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that the total number of seats aboard its fleet of Bombardier Q200, Q300 and Q400 will remain unchanged as part of this refresh, so there'll be no cuts to legroom.
Each aircraft takes around 10 days to upgrade, and Qantas expects the refubishment of its 45-strong Dash 8 fleet will be completed by the end of 2019.
Business class is not being introduced on these aircraft as part of the refresh.
PREVIOUS [February 22 2018] | QantasLink’s fleet of Bombardier Q200, Q300 and Q400 planes are in for a refresh with new seating, cabin colours and floor coverings planned as part of the overhaul.
Beginning by June 2018 and running for 18 months, the cabin upgrade program covers all 45 of QantasLink’s Bombardier turboprops, introducing ergonomic seat cushioning and leather upholstery for passengers travelling across the airline’s network of regional flights.
QantasLink says the new seats will “closely align… with the QantasLink jet fleet” as offered in economy on the airline’s refreshed Boeing 717s.
“We’re investing in our regional fleet at the same time as we are upgrading our A380 cabins so that passengers, whether they are travelling to Dubbo or Dallas, Longreach or Los Angeles, will enjoy an improved inflight experience,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
Business class is not currently offered on QantasLink’s turboprop aircraft and is not expected to be introduced as part of this refresh.