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Qantas to increase capacity of Airbus A380 fleet

Qantas unveiled plans to increase the capacity of its 12 Airbus A380s. The multi-million dollar upgrade will see a change in seat mix on the super jumbos to meet increased customer demand for premium cabins on flights to the US, Europe, and Asia.

Structural changes are focused on the upper deck where 30 economy seats will be removed and some partitions and a crew workstation rearranged to use space more effectively. These changes allow for an additional six business class and 25 premium economy seats, increasing overall seat count on the aircraft by one and increasing premium seating by 27%.

Other key elements of the A380 refurbishment program include replacing business class Skybeds with the latest version of Qantas’ business suites with the Skybed. Installing of the all new premium economy seat in a 2-3-2 configuration. This seat is almost 10% wider than the model it replaces and will debut on the Dreamliner later this year.

Work on the first A380 is expected to begin in the second quarter of the calendar year 2019. All 12 aircraft will be upgraded by end of 2020. The design integration will be managed by Airbus.

Etihad Airways expands Boeing 787 Europe network

Etihad Airways recently announced plans to boost its European Dreamliner network with deployment of Boeing 787-9 aircraft to Amsterdam and Madrid.

The 299-seat Dreamliners will be introduced on year-round scheduled services to Amsterdam from 1 September, and to Madrid, effective 1 October 2017, joining Düsseldorf and Zurich as the airline’s other European Dreamliner services. The 787-9 will also operate seasonally to Athens during the summer months.

With a phased delivery of nine Boeing 787-9s this year, the aircraft are gradually being introduced on a number of international routes from Abu Dhabi.

The airline currently operates a fleet of 13 Boeing 787-9s to 11 destinations – namely Washington, Düsseldorf, Zurich, Johannesburg, Amman, Riyadh, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo, Perth and Brisbane from Abu Dhabi. Beirut, Beijing, Seoul and Melbourne are due to join the 787 network over the next few months.

The Amsterdam route will have a taste of the 787 between 2 and 30 June 2017 to help meet demand during the early summer peak period. The current four weekly Madrid services will also be boosted with additional flights, moving to a daily operation from 1 June 2017.

Etihad Airways has pending deliveries of a further 58 Dreamliners over the next few years.