The first of Qantas’ upgraded A380s took to the skies today, delivering a new level of comfort for customers travelling on the national carrier’s largest aircraft.

The multimillion-dollar upgrade of 12 aircraft includes new seating across expanded Business and Premium Economy cabins and a refresh of the aircraft’s First and Economy seating. The on-board lounge has also been redesigned.

Smarter use of space has created an all premium class upper deck (now occupied by Business and Premium Economy) and an expanded on-board lounge. There are now 30 fewer Economy seats and an increase in premium seating by 27 per cent.

Key elements of the upgrade include:

  • The introduction of the Qantas Business Suite, replacing the previous Skybeds, in a 1:2:1 configuration that now gives aisle access to every passenger.
  • The installation of the new Premium Economy seat (first debuted on the Qantas Dreamliner) and increasing the number of seats from 35 to 60.
  • A larger on-board lounge space with seating for up to 10 Business and First passengers.
  • An update to the 14 First Class Suites with new contoured cushioning, seat finishes and a larger, higher resolution entertainment screen.
  • A new colour palette for the Economy cabin and improved inflight entertainment.

The first reconfigured aircraft, VH-OQK, will operate as QF2 from London to Sydney via Singapore today, arriving in Australia on Wednesday 2 October.

A further two A380 aircraft are expected to undergo refurbishment before the end of 2019, with all 12 aircraft in the fleet upgraded by the end of 2020.

Upgraded A380s won’t be permanently allocated to specific routes, so until the refurb program is complete, it’ll be a matter of luck if customers find themselves on a newer or older plane.

Here’s what the refreshed first class seat looks like.

Qantas A380 new first class

Qantas A380 new first class

Here is the new business class seating.

Qantas A380 new business class seat

Qantas A380 new business class seat

These are the new premium economy seats.

Qantas A380 new premium economy

And here are the refreshed seats in economy.

Qantas A380 new economy seating

Finally, here is the redesigned lounge area at the front of the upper deck for business and first class passengers.

Onboard lounge

Onboard lounge

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