Qantas’ first refurbished A380 to commence flights from London next week

Sep 25, 2019

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Qantas has been working on refurbishing of the interiors of its 12 Airbus A380 aircraft. And now, the first updated A380 will begin operating Qantas’ flagship London (LHR) to Sydney (SYD) route via Singapore (SIN) from next week.

As previously reported by TPG, the refurbishment means a big upgrade for business-class passengers who are used to an older generation Skybed MK2 in a 2-2-2 layout on the airline’s A380, with minimal storage and privacy.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 21: A man sleeps in the new business class seat onboard the new Qantas A380 flagship the 'Nancy-Bird Walton' as she joins the Qantas fleet at Sydney Domestic Airport on September 21, 2008 in Sydney, Australia. The Qantas A380 will feature seating for 450 passengers across four cabins and will commence commercial services from Melbourne to Los Angeles on October 20, and from Sydney to Los Angeles on October 24. (Photo by Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images)
Qantas’ previous generation business class. (Photo by Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images)

Now, business-class passengers can enjoy the same fully-flat, 1-2-1 configuration Business Suite with direct aisle access for every passenger — the same seat as found on Qantas’ Boeing 787 aircraft. The Dreamliner operates Qantas’ other UK service, the nonstop London (LHR) to Perth (PER) flight.

Qantas 787-9 business class cabin.
Qantas 787-9 business class cabin.

Qantas is keeping its first-class cabin on the aircraft, and these seats will receive only a minor refresh with new cushions and larger IFE screens. However, the cabin layout and seat design will remain the same. The premium economy cabin will receive the same seats as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, including the same relatively tight legroom. The economy cabin will only see new cushions and improved IFE.

Because of the time the aircraft will take to operate the long journey between Australia and the UK, with only one aircraft refurbished so far, Qantas can not yet operate all daily flights on this route with the new products. Executive Traveller reports that the aircraft will operate the following services next week, noting this remains subject to change:

  • 30 September: QF 2 (LHR – SYD)
  • 2 October: QF1 (SYD – LHR)
  • 3 October: QF2 (LHR – SYD)
  • 5 October: QF1 (SYD-LHR)
  • 6 October: QF2 (LHR – SYD)
  • 8 October: QF1 (SYD – LHR)
  • 9 October: QF2 (LHR- SYD)

Qantas is aiming to refurbish one A380 per month, so the project should be complete in around 12 months. The easiest way to tell if you are on a refurbished aircraft is to check the business class seat map — the yet-to-be refurbished aircraft will be six across, while the updated aircraft will be a staggered 1-2-1 across. You can read our guide on how to read an aircraft seat map here.

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Featured image by Gettys Images.

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