Qantas Skybed Wins Australian Design Award

SYDNEY, 24 April 2004

Qantas was last night awarded one of Australia's top design accolades - an Australian Design Award.

The Executive General Manager of Qantas Airlines, John Borghetti, said the airline was delighted by the recognition Skybed - designed by Australian industrial designer Marc Newson - had received since it was unveiled in September 2003.

"Our aim was to create a Business Class seat that was completely different to anything else in the sky.

"Marc's innovative design, developed in association with Qantas, has achieved this and we believe has set a new standard for Business Class," Mr Borghetti said.

"Feedback from customers on our new Business Class seat has been overwhelmingly positive - with not only the look and comfort of the seat being admired, but also its functionality," he said.

Skybed features include:

* a fixed cocoon-style seat surround to provide maximum privacy;* a privacy screen between seats;* extensive seat adjustment controls to ensure maximum comfort in any position, with additional seat controls inside the cocoon surround;* cushioned lumbar support;* a back massage feature; * a large 10.4 inch (26.4 cm) screen with multi-channel entertainment;* a PC power outlet that allows laptops to be plugged straight in without the need for adaptor cables;* clever storage options including a shoe cupboard and glove box for spectacles and travel documents; and* a water bottle holder.

"Skybed is the centrepiece of our new $385 million international Business Class, which also includes a new Business bar, again designed by Marc, a new mood lighting system designed exclusively for Qantas, and new catering by Australian chef Neil Perry," Mr Borghetti said. The Australian Design Awards is Australia's only national design awards program, aimed at recognising and rewarding the best examples of Australian design and innovation.

Skybed was also recently honoured with a Good Design Award from the Chicago Athanaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3083)