Qantas's A380 fleet is set to get a makeover – including all-new Premium Economy seats.
Already rolled out on Qantas's Dreamliners, the class-leading seats offer comforts seen in some carriers’ business-class cabins – we’re talking more premium than economy.
Premium Economy is a little like brunch. It sits between Economy and Business, fulfilling a much-needed in-between. It’s a great compromise, offering a very nice upgrade from Economy without the price tag of Business.
The A380's expanded Premium Economy cabin will feature 60 seats – up from 35 – that are 10 per cent wider than Qantas’s existing Premium Economy seats and are laid out in a two-three-two configuration to allow maximum aisle access to passengers.
Each seat has an ergonomic headrest that can be fitted with a purpose-designed pillow. The seat-back is supremely comfortable with superior lower lumbar support and the armrests of aisle seats lower completely so there’s no need to return the seat to the upright position to get up.
Other features of the new Premium Economy seats include enormous Panasonic seatback screens, two USB charging points for every seat, as well as a shared AC power-point and five storage areas for your books, cosmetics and devices.
The pièce de résistance, as long-haul passengers will note, is the recline function of the seat. As the passenger pushes back in the seat, several sections of the seat shift, not just the back. Rather than shifting backwards, the seat shuffles forward and up, holding the passenger in a z-position and preventing the body from sliding down in the chair. The function also means that although there’s a full nine inches of pitch, the intrusion of the seat in front is minimal – less than four inches.
It’s not just Premium Economy that’s improved: the 14 first-class suites will have a larger HD screen and the Skybed II seats currently in Business will be replaced by the Business Suite in use on the Dreamliners. This is to ensure the longer routes passengers will be undertaking on the aircraft are experienced in the maximum comfort.
The refurbishment will begin in July 2019, with all 12 A380s looking fresh by the end of 2020.
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