Qantas announced (18-Feb-2010) plans to invest AUD400 million (USD358.9 million) to upgrade seats and inflight entertainment on nine B747-400 aircraft, and reconfigure its A380 fleet to “meet the changing demands of the airline’s international customers”. The upgrade and reconfiguration program will commence at the end of 2011 and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. It will be funded through the combination of operating cash flows and pre-existing debt facilities. The majority of capital expenditure will take place in 2012. Details include:
- B747-400: First Class to be removed, with Business seats added in their place for a total of 359 seats (+16.9%), including 58 Business, 36 Premium Economy and 265 Economy seats). Aircraft to be fitted with Qantas’ A380 standard seats and inflight product, including a fully flat seat in Business Class and new seats in Economy Class, as well as on-demand Panasonic inflight entertainment in all classes;
- A380s: 12 to remain in four-class configuration, including First Class, but be refitted to reduce Business Class seating and increase Premium Economy and Economy seating. Eight aircraft will be delivered from 2012 in a three-class configuration and with no First Class cabin. Final A380 seat numbers are to be confirmed “subject to discussions with Airbus and suppliers”.