BY JAMES WILKINSON
Nine of Qantas’ Boeing 747-400s will have been retrofitted with the same onboard product as the flagship Airbus A380s by the end of this year, as the airline continues to enhance its international services.
Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience Alison Webster said the fourth retrofitted B747 would be in the sky by the end of March and the remaining five would be complete by year’s end.
“In-flight entertainment is now available on larger personal screens with over 1,500 content selections,” Webster said.
“Our customers in Business now enjoy new cabin mood lighting and the award-winning fully-flat Skybed designed by Marc Newson and our Economy customers also receive a new level of comfort with a custom designed seat featuring a unique footrest net and ergonomic cushioning and a self-service snack bar,” she said.
The cabin configuration on the Boeing 747 fleet is also being changed to feature 364 seats – including 58 in Business, 36 in Premium Economy and 270 in Economy.
Webber said by the end of June, Qantas was expecting to have six retrofitted B747s in the air on the airline’s long-haul Pacific routes to Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Santiago.
The airline will still continue to offer First class on Airbus A380 flights from Sydney to Los Angeles (on QF11 and QF12) and from Melbourne to Los Angeles (QF93 and QF94).
The last three Boeing 747s retrofitted after June will be operating on Pacific routes by the end of 2012 as well as Brisbane-Singapore services.