Australian flag carrier Qantas began operations for the upgraded version of its Airbus A380 on Tuesday.
The aircraft is one of 12 Airbus superjumbo planes to have received a major facelift. Two additional A380 aircraft are expected to undergo refurbishment before the end of 2019, with each plane to take approximately eight weeks to upgrade.
“The A380 is a crucial part of our long-haul fleet and this upgrade program will see customers enjoy everything the aircraft has to offer for years to come,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.
The first upgraded A380 departed from London to Sydney via Singapore and is expected to arrive in Australia on Wednesday.
Following the upgrade, the aircraft now has a total capacity of 485 passengers, an increase of one seat.
The revamped aircraft is said to feature upgraded seats in its Business and Premium Economy cabins, changes to its First Class and Economy seating and a larger on-board lounge.
The airline’s Skybeds 2-2-2 layout has been replaced with the Business Suite 1-2-1 seat configuration, providing aisle access to all passengers.
Joyce said the changes to Business and Premium Economy seating aimed to cater to passengers on long-haul flights.
As for the Economy cabin, it now comes with a new color palette and improved inflight entertainment.
“By the end of this upgrade, we’ll have next-generation seating across our entire long-haul fleet of A380s, A330s and 787s,” Joyce said. (jes/kes)