Qantas to offer more seats Down Under
Australian airline Qantas has confirmed that its new A380 aircraft, to be delivered from 2012, will have more economy seats following its decision not to offer a first-class cabin on the double-decker jets.
The airline will also remove first-class from its Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which will be replaced instead with business class seating from the end of next year.
The decision to reduce its first-class offering may come as a surprise to some as Qantas invested heavily in the premium product for the launch of the A380 only 18 months ago.
First-class on its A380s consists of 14 private suites, each with a seat that morphs from armchair to fully flat bed, depending on the needs of the passenger.
It's good news though for economy passengers flying Down Under who will have more choice of seats from the Aussie carrier. On Qantas 747s there will be 52 seats more than currently available.
Qantas' existing A380s will continue to offer four classes, but they will be refitted to offer fewer business-class seats and more premium-economy and economy seats.
The airline's decision reflects changes in global travel trends, with fewer passengers travelling in first- and business-class and more corporate travellers downgrading to premium-economy and economy.
British Airways is gambling on bucking the trend, however, having recently spent £100m upgrading its first-class cabin to provide passengers with the sort of luxury not seen on commercial aircraft since the 1950s and the heyday of air travel.