Nov 28, 2012

Qantas is fixing its A330 biz class seats, pronto

Joyce pauses in the war with Dixon to put the wedgie sleeper seat and other A330 business class atrocities to the sword.

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says he will recommend to the board fixes to the A330 domestic business class seat that had the frequent flyer nation in shock when it was unveiled as a new and improved product on Sunday. Not only that, the current 'sloper' seats in business class in those A330s that fly longer haul routes for Qantas will also be replaced with flat bed seats. Speaking after his speech to the National Aviation Press Club in Sydney today Joyce was emphatic that the existence of multiple and outdated configurations in the A330 fleet needed to be replace by 'leading' new products for domestic and international. Joyce said the A330 international fleet would be fitted with full length fully flat parallel to the floor seats. (No more wedgies, my term, not his.) He said the configuration 'unveiled' on Sunday had been locked into sales contracts some time in the past, and added that the problem was made more pressing as the A330-200s in Jetstar service were returned to Qantas mainline. (The Jetstar configurations sold as Star Class in the forward cabin were in effect a premium economy sized seat which had originally appeared as business class for Qantas as far back as the A332s  introduction in 2003.) A report on the key points Joyce made in a Q and A session at the luncheon will appear later.

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4 thoughts on “Qantas is fixing its A330 biz class seats, pronto

  1. julius grafton

    I’m trying to figure this out.

    First QF have a press conference, and we meet the new boss of Domestic, and he is showing off the A330 with all economy seats. The biz seats are Premium Economy. Which do not cut it for trans continental. Which is what the new A330 is now devoted to!

    Why? What was the message? That we will be all A330 to Perth? (But wait, the newest bird sucks…..)

  2. Flyer Solo

    Joyce’s verbal commitment to upgrade QF Intl’s A330 cabins with fully flat beds (surely Skybed II) is encouraging and overdue. Likewise is his commitment to fix the domestic A330 cabins.

    But this comment from his prepared remarks is pure PR spin and hyperbole: “But we now have the new Dubai and Singapore schedules in place and it looks very exciting. Our customers are going to love it.”

    Is he serious?

    Still only one flight a day between MEL-SGP and it’s not well timed for same day connections. The PER-SGP schedule remains also ill-timed. Out of two daily SGP-SYD sectors, both flights leave at nearly the same times. And three times a week, one service goes via ADE. Definitely not the refocus on Asia and better frequencies/timings Joyce promised.

    Still, it remains to be seen if QF has a rabbit to pull post-IATA slots conference for the Northern Summer schedule 2013. If Joyce announces more SGP & HKG frequencies and better timings, plus an A330 cabin upgrade, that will truly be a good news story which is much needed.

  3. thebozeian

    ….And now you have just stated and understood the real problem with Qantas Julius.

    The people at the helm are insane. How could any CEO look at the press brief, look at the pictures (or the aircraft first, if he had any brain) BEFORE unveiling it, and not state the obvious which would be along the lines of “that looks ridiculous, who came up with this? I want them fired immediately..” What sort of a fool would look at 30 plus seats and say, “oh that looks to be way more comfortable than those 24 in Virgin, book me on it now..”. Which must be exactly what the marketing clown yes men were thinking when they wrote that press release tripe, because nothing else makes sense.

    Of course this sort of moronic marketing stupidity is simply adhering to a theme as exemplified by the bad idea that is the A-380 reconfig which has seen both passengers and crew hate it . After all who in their right mind thinks that being crammed in with even more passengers and even less lavatories and galley amenities is a good idea?

    This company is run by people so out of touch with its market, so divorced from its ideals and so clueless about the good corporate knowledge held within its own people that it begs the question what is wrong with business in general that major corporate shareholders are not screaming for blood? Perhaps because they too are infected with the same mindless zombie mantra that will lead good companies over a cliff.

    And yes Julius, it really does suck.

  4. Krungthep Kris

    Ben – take a look at Qantas situation in BKK, and how many days a week they have to leave either width out a full load of passengers or without cargo, they always miss out on one or the other – barely a bloody service, more an order. Why they don’t lease a couple of TG’s 340-600’s that are lying idle, but could be filled every day, I don’t know. Even if not as low cost to run, at least they can offer a proper service – and still lower cost that 747’s

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