Qantas To Refurbish B737 Fleet
2nd Aug 2014
The flag carrier will spend a handsome amount of money to upgrade its fleet of short to medium-range narrow-body B737-800 airliners starting in the middle of next year.
The narrow-body airliners, which currently number to 72 planes, make up the bulk of Qantas total fleet of 132 aircraft. The aircraft, which can seat up to 168 passengers in a two-class configuration, are used extensively across the airline's domestic network.
Though the specific amount of the upgrade was not disclosed to the media, the extent of the upgrade of all those 72 B727 aircraft could run up to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The said upgrade is projected to be completed over a 12-month period from its commencement in mid-2015. Part of the upgrade is a total makeover in their interiors, including the installation of more comfortable seats across all classes.
Qantas Domestic CEO, Lyell Strambi, revealed that 29 of the newest aircraft already feature full seat back video on demand in-flight entertainment.
Under the planned upgrade, the rest of the B737 fleet will come installed with wireless Q-streaming entertainment for each passenger in addition to the fold-down screen. This will afford passengers to get the latest news, movies, music and TV programs streamed straight to their own gadgets such as laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Additionally, the airline is already planning to allow its passengers to use their phone in flight mode during the whole time, from the moment the plane takes off until it touches down at its destination. However, the plan is still under evaluation from the Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Strambi further said that they want their customers to enjoy whatever they want during the whole time through the use of whatever electronic device they have with the airline's extensive in-flight entertainment menu offering.
The planned upgrade will likewise see the addition of six more seats at the rear of each B737 aircraft due primarily to the changes in the gallery and space allocation of its lavatory. Despite the 3% increase in capacity due to the addition of six seats, the seating space for passengers is not compromised as they will still enjoy the same comfort as before.