Along with a new, revamped flying kangaroo logo, Qantas today made sweeping changes across its fleet of domestic and international aircraft and announced the interior arrangements for the Airbus A380 due in August 2008.
According to Qantas Executive General Manager, John Borghetti, the decision to launch a reinterpretation of its iconic logo was made for reasons of practicality and to show its increasing focus on contemporary design and innovation.
He explained the new shape and composite materials used in constructing the A380 tail-plane were also considerations in the logo change: “This move also reflects the changing structure of our new aircraft – for example, the shape of our new kangaroo is a great fit for the tail of the A380 and other new generation aircraft”.
Borghetti described it as “a modern take on a design that has stood the test of time…We took great care to carry this legacy into the new design”, and said it will be progressively rolling out the new branding across the airline in the lead up to the delivery of the first A380 next August.
Qantas used the occasion to also unveil its seating and interior schemes for the A380 and its new ‘premium economy’ class for international passengers, due to be implemented across its Boeing 747-400 aircraft from February 2008 and the Airbus A380 from its August 2008 launch.
The A380 will comprise 450 seats, with 14 in first class, 72 in business, 32 in the new premium economy cabin and 332 in economy.
“The design process has included an unprecedented level of customer involvement, with many customer initiated ideas being followed through to prototype and customers participating in sleeping comfort trials and ergonomic testing of seats,” Borghetti said.
“The design process evolved over five years to culminate in a layout of 14 private suites, each featuring a 17 inch LCD wide screen video monitor, an array of personal stowage options, a unique touch screen control unit and a seat – manufactured by B/E Aerospaces’s VIP jet group – that swivels into a comfortable armchair and a fully flat, extra long and very wide bed.”
Among key features for first class A380 passengers is the lounge area with self-service refreshment bar, large sofa, seatbelts for in-flight use and entertainment screen with laptop connection, along with the Panasonic In-flight Entertainment system delivered via a 17.1 inch LCD video monitor.
The new premium economy cabin class comprises redesigned seating and is pitched at economy travellers seeking more space, comfort and an enhanced level of service. The Recaro-designed seats, with extra width and additional leg-room, also have an in-arm touch screen video monitor and integrated multiport jack swith USB and RJ45 ports, available in all A380 classes.
Premium economy passengers get use of a self-service bar, while economy passengers have access to four of these along with the USB and other PC port access available to all A380 passengers.
Borghetti said the premium economy cabin would be available gradually on B747 services to London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg from February 2008 with further routes to be added following the introduction of the A380.
Premium Economy will be located on the main deck of B747 aircraft with 32 seats in a two-four-two configuration. On the A380, the cabin will be located on the upper deck with 32 seats in a two-three-two configuration.
On the domestic front, Qantas also revealed new interiors and internal colour schemes for its fleet of B767-300, B737-800 and B737-400 aircraft operating services within Australia and New Zealand. The first of the refitted Qantas’ B767 aircraft is already in the air, with the remainder to be completed by April 2008 and Qantas’ B737 aircraft to be completed by June 2008.
Qantas will introduce dedicated domestic business class lounges at its key business airports of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbaneby mid-2008, available to domestic business and top-tier frequent flier clientele.
Along with expanded lay-out and private seating arrangements, the upgraded lounges will feature full teleconferencing equipment, digital display and projector equipment, dedicated break-out areas, expanded wireless access and more PC units.
At the check-in stage, Borgehtti said the carrier was continuing to invest in technology to reduce the time passengers spend being processed before flights, expanding the number of QuickCheck kiosks offered in domestic Australian airports and increasing the promotion of these services.