Qantas Reveals 787 Business Class & Updated Livery

Filed Under: Qantas

I don’t think there’s an airline in the world that has pre-hyped their 787 quite as much as Qantas. Qantas will be taking delivery of their first of eight Boeing 787-9 aircraft in about a year, which they’ll eventually use to replace their existing 747 aircraft. This is the only plane that Qantas has on order, and they have the option to order more in the future, which they may very well take advantage of.

Earlier today Qantas held a huge media event revealing the interiors of their 787s, and also announcing an updated livery. Here’s what was revealed:

Qantas 787-9 configuration

Qantas is hoping to fly their 787s on ultra longhaul flights, so they’ve given their 787s a fairly sparse configuration. Qantas’ 787-9 aircraft will feature 236 seats, including:

  • 42 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration
  • 28 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration
  • 166 economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration

This means Qantas’ 787s feature a fairly spacious configuration, much more so than what some other carriers have (for example, Air Canada has 298 seats on the same plane).

Qantas 787 business class

Overall Qantas has a rather underwhelming business class product throughout most of their longhaul fleet, at least in terms of their hard product. Their 747 and A380 aircraft just feature forward facing fully flat seats. While they’re spacious, they really aren’t ideal if traveling alone on ultra longhaul flights.



However, Qantas’ A330s actually feature a significantly better business class product. These planes feature Vantage XL seats, the same you’ll find in SAS business class. It’s a solid business class product, though I still prefer reverse herringbone seats and Apex Suites.



Well, Qantas has revealed that their 787 business class seat will be very similar to their A330 business class seat, with the addition of an adjustable privacy partition between seats. Here are pictures of what they’re planning on installing on their 787s:



So it’s a perfectly fine product, though not as good as a reverse herringbone seat, in my opinion, which many other airlines are installing on the 787.

Qantas is updating their livery

Qantas has also announced that they’ll slightly be updating their livery. Here’s how they describe the updates they’re making:

  • A streamlined Kangaroo on the tail of the aircraft, with shading to give it a sense of depth and movement. The Kangaroo itself has been simplified for a cleaner, more modern look.
  • A silver band has been added to the rear of the aircraft, flowing from the tail through to the rear of the fuselage for a more premium feel and more contrast between the red tail and the rest of the aircraft.
  • A new, slimmer font for the world ‘Qantas’ on the side of the aircraft and the color made slightly lighter.
  • The word Qantas is added to the belly for increased visibility when aircraft are flying overhead.
  • Adding the Kangaroo to the inside curved edge of the wingtips so that they are in-flight and meaning they will also appear in pictures people take out the aircraft windows.
  • Replacing, centring and enlarging the Kangaroo that appears on outboard engine cowls, so that it is more prominent and identifiable.
  • Re-introducing the iconic ‘winged Kangaroo’ that featured on Qantas tails in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s by placing it under the cockpit window and integrating it with the aircraft name currently in this position (note: the actual aircraft names are unchanged).
  • The classic ‘Qantas red’ and white of the fuselage are unchanged.

Here’s what the new livery will look like on the 787:


And here’s a side-by-side of the various liveries that Qantas has offered over time:


Bottom line

I have to give Qantas credit for milking the heck out of their 787 deliveries in terms of media coverage. They’re still a year from taking delivery of their first plane, and they’ve now held a media event in order to announce that they’re using the same product that they’re using on one of their other planes.

Soon we should learn which routes Qantas will use their 787s for, which is what I’m most curious about. We’ve heard speculation of routes like Perth to London, Melbourne to Dallas, etc. I guess we’ll find out soon.

What do you make of Qantas’ 787 business class seat choice and livery update?

  1. Wonder if Economy will feature those space stealing A/V boxes under all window and aisle seats and narrow seats like Qatar has on their 787s. Awful planes to fly on long flights. The marketing website does not show them….

  2. The roo on the tail seems to have lost all shape and definition, doesn’t look good imho.

    Also the renderings don’t show the Kangaroo on the inside of the wing tips as per the text.

  3. I think its hilarious how much they’re hyping this up. AusBT website has been running articles about the QF 787 weekly for at least a year with nothing to report other than speculation and forward dates. Today was supposed to be the big launch event where they revealed all 3 cabins, as well as the launch route. They failed to reveal the Y+ product (which they describe as ‘revolutionary’) or the launch route (which I assume with the first frame in order to offer a daily service will be SYD-SIN or similar.
    They are carrying on like they’re the first to fly the 787, while they wont receive their first for a year, there are already, what, 25 airlines flying the 787, and there are airlines with more 787s flying right now than QF even have on order. Its ridiculous. Their LCC-sub Jetstar has already been flying 787s for years.

    The livery refresh received overall a reasonably negative reaction in Australia today – the main complaints are that the ‘Q’ now looks like an O (so Oantas), the Flying Roo is missing its paws, and the grey swish through the Roo’s back looks like a skid mark.
    Im not crazy about the new font – I think it looks a cheap and they definitely should have made the Q look more like a Q.

  4. Qantas ordered over 50 of the 787’s making it the second biggest order for the plane and their delay was a huge problem for the airline. Qantas has played this smart I think with their next big purchase to focus on 777, though would not be surprised if the 350 gets a look if delays plague Boeing. Upside for Qantas, the huge discounts they must be getting on these planes! I really don’t blame them for playing this up.

    Will be interesting to see what they do with the new Premium Economy…

  5. Echoing what others have said, the ‘roo looks not very kangaroo-like, though I don’t mind the shadowing they’ve done, nor the cheat line at the rear of the fuselage. The typeface for QANTAS, however, is awful. It looks like futuristic writing that’s already dated. Kind of how the typeface used in, say, the older Star Trek movies looks dated today, but at the time was what we thought fonts of the future would appear. Except this, to me, already looks dated.

    The new seats are alright, I guess. At least they’re going to 1-2-1, which is an improvement. Though, like you, Ben, reverse herringbone is still my fave. It’s almost as it QF is trying to be differentiate themselves from VA, but in the wrong direction.

  6. I preferred the roo on the previous 2 livery designs. But, Qantas still has my favorite livery in the sky even with the new, arm-less roo. I don’t know there’s a close 2nd to me, either.

    As to the 787, I do hope it opens a lot more markets to Qantas. I am hoping the added range for the 787 allows for direct flights from AA hubs like Chicago, Charlotte and/or Miami.

    Are there any plans for AA to add premium economy as a separate redemption option? Having flown several times between the USA and Australia I would be completely fine with premium economy on the flight from SYD-USA instead of Biz. I can’t sleep on the way back no matter where I sit.

  7. I’m not sure you could call nine abreast in economy “sparse”. Can’t imagine what that would be like on a non-stop Perth to London flight!

  8. Caught a glimpse of the new livery on the A330 yesterday, thought it looked fantastic. The roo looks perfectly roo-y to me, honestly can’t see how anyone could mistake it for anything else. I also like the font change, always thought the old bold + italic logo looked a bit dated. I will say though they have definitely way, way overhyped this plane, and local media seems to be lapping it up as well.

    As for the J seat, I’m a huge fan of the Vantage XL seats, prefer it to reverse herringbone (CX and QR’s iteration at least) in terms of design, storage space, overall comfort and privacy. You should review it at some point! AA is still very good value at 40k for Asia 1/2 – South Pacific in J.

  9. Being a Qantas FF I spend a lot of time on QF metal. Love QF but honestly they need the new planes like tomorrow.

  10. The reason for this hype is because this is the first twin engine ultra long haul aircraft QF will be getting, about 10 years behind others when 777-300ER is the backbone fleet for most major airlines.

    QF made a mistake in not ordering 777, and being the most isolated continent in the world, meaning they fully rely on the fuel guzzling 4 engined A380 and 747 for all their long haul flights. The 787 will help a lot with that, although I don’t know how can a 236 seater 787 replace a 400+ seater 747 especially for high demand routes such as BNE-LAX and SYD-SFO.

  11. Wow the kangaroo is getting more and more abstract over the years. It will end up looking like the Nike swoosh. I think it’s a mistake, Qantas should be embracing a symbol of their homeland, not making it more generic.

  12. Most of the changes to the livery are “meh”, but I’m really not liking the roo-blob thing. Really, Qantas, there’s such a thing as being too stylized. Poor thing doesn’t even have arms anymore, and a head that looks like a chicken wing.

  13. I think the new roo looks slick and modern. I like the updated typeface (font?) too. It would be pretty hard not to know it’s a kangaroo (and of course the missing arms mean it’s more aerodynamic 🙂

  14. I have to say that, having flown on Cathay Pacific’s reverse herringbone (A330 and 777) as well as Qantas’ new A330, I prefer the Qantas seat. More storage, privacy (particularly if you get the true window seat) and it definitely felt wider so easier for sleeping. Though the mattress pad and pyjama’s will always make for a better sleep 🙂

    You will have to come back to Australia and compare Qantas and Virgin’s new products!

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