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Qantas strip out First Class

15th Mar 2010

Qantas remove first class

Qantas plans to strip out two-thirds of its First Class seating in response to the global slump in premium travel. It is part of a AU$400m plan to standardise seating across its long-haul fleet to match the product used within its double-decker Airbus A380s.

Nine of its Boeing 747-400 planes will be fitted with the business class flatbed seats as used in its A380s from the end of 2011. The new configuration will offer 359 seats, an increase of 52 seats.

Qantas currently has 12 Airbus A380 super jumbos which will continue to fly with a four-class configuration but will be refitted to reduce business class and increase Premium Economy and economy seats. The A380s due to be delivered in 2012 will offer no first class seating.

However Qantas will retain First suites on the existing twelve aircraft, which will be used on daily services from Sydney and Melbourne to London via Singapore and Los Angeles.

Details of the changes:

Airbus A380

* 12 A380s will continue to fly with a four-class configuration, including First class, but be refitted to reduce Business seating and increase Premium Economy and Economy seating.

* The remaining eight aircraft will be delivered from 2012 in a three-class configuration and with no First cabin.

* A380 seat numbers are to be confirmed subject to discussions with Airbus and suppliers

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.

Boeing 747-400

* Nine Boeing 747-400 will be upgraded and fitted with Qantas' A380 standard seats and inflight product, including a fully flat Skybed sleeper seat in Business, an award-winning Marc Newson designed and Recaro manufactured seat in Economy and on-demand Panasonic inflight entertainment in all classes.

* First class cabins will be removed and Business seats installed in their place.

* The three-class configuration will offer 359 seats (58 Business, 36 Premium Economy and 265 Economy), an increase of 52 seats overall.



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