Qantas’ New A330 Business Class Product Revealed

Filed Under: Qantas

When I heard news this morning that Qantas revealed their new A330 business class product, I was initially confused.

In August 2013 I wrote about Qantas’ new A330 business class seat design, so I wasn’t sure if I was going crazy, if a press release was published with the wrong date, or what.

Qantas’ original new A330 business class seat design

The plan was that Qantas would start offering their new A330 business class starting in late 2014. As it turns out Qantas is simply releasing the finalized version of their new A330 business class.

Qantas’ finalized new A330 business class seat design

Qantas’ finalized new A330 business class seat design

As you can see, they changed a lot of the “little touches” compared to the original seat design they unveiled last year.

Here’s a video of what the new business class product will look like:

By the end of 2016, the new business class product will be found on all 28 of Qantas’ A330 aircraft, which they fly primarily within Australia and to Asia. Currently Qantas operates A330s on the following routes:

  • Sydney-Melbourne
  • Sydney-Brisbane
  • Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Perth
  • Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Singapore
  • Melbourne/Brisbane to Hong Kong
  • Sydney-Bangkok
  • Sydney-Jakarta
  • Sydney-Manila
  • Sydney-Honolulu
  • Sydney-Shanghai

While I don’t think it’s the best business class product available globally, it’s tough to beat a product like this for a domestic flight.

The Vantage XL seats will be in a 1-2-1 configuration, meaning each seat will have direct aisle access. There will be a total of seven rows, as there will be 28 business class seats per cabin.

While there’s no denying this is a solid business class product (and a spectacular business class product for domestic flights), they’re kind of being one-upped by Virgin Australia here.

Virgin Australia is installing the sleekest looking reverse herringbone seats I’ve ever seen throughout their Airbus A330 and Boeing 777-300ER fleet.

Virgin Australia’s new business class product

I guess Qantas has the benefit of rolling out their product several months earlier, but once both carriers have their new products, Qantas will once again be at a disadvantage, in my opinion.

What do you think of Qantas’ new business class product, and how do you think it compares to Virgin Australia’s new product?

  1. To me, Lucky, the differences between the 2 are really negligible. They both look great, they have a similar level of privacy and comfort. What kind of a disadvantage do you think Qantas would have compared to Virgin? I also think Qantas’ layout is superior if you are traveling with someone.

  2. Fantastic design – I like the desk and storage space as well as the aisle access which trumps the UA and BA configuration. However my only concern is that the seat appears to be angled in the photo, not 180 degree lie flat – probably lacking support at the bottom. That would be horrible for sleeping and inferior to UA.

    Also it does not appear this is rolled out for long haul flights to the USA, but I suppose that they have another config for the A380

  3. the press release mentioned these can be positioned flat for take-off and landing, is that right? how is that possible for this seat but not other seats?

  4. They say it will be in a 1-2-1 configuration. I would really like to see how the window seats will look like and also what the entire cabin would look like since the middle seats doesn’t say much.

  5. @ Tim — They can’t go in the fully flat position, but they can be reclined somewhat. This is the same as Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic, etc.

  6. @ Cory — As far as I’m concerned the biggest downside to staggered seats is the lack of room for your feet. The foot “cubby” is usually quite small, while that isn’t a problem with reverse herringbone seats.

  7. Lucky, I actually found EVA Royal Laurel seat quite tight for my feet in full flat position (I’m only 5’9). Don’t have much to compare to though.

  8. Hi Lucky
    I don’t believe QF currently use A330s on any Golden Triangle routes between MEL, SYD and BNE because the turn-around times are too long for these short routes. The only widebodies on these routes are 767s which are being quickly retired. Within a few months I believe there will be only narrowbodies on the Golden Triangle (any carrier)
    The A330s will do domestic but only PER to MEL, SYD and BNE which are much longer routes. We will be spoilt in Australia with arguably the worlds two best domestic J products fighting each other.

  9. @ Ben — That was directly from the press release. Looking at the schedule, they do seem to fly an A330 a couple of times a day between Sydney and Melbourne/Brisbane, though for the most part those routes are operated by 737s.

  10. @ Ben – they certainly do. I flew an A330 from SYD to MEL yesterday, however most of the flights are operated by 737s.

  11. For me, the Original design have better color and line up. It looks sleeker and easy on the eye compared to the final product. The cream color doesn’t mixed well with the black seat or the wooden panel. It looked a bit outdated, and light panel would get dirty at faster rate as well.

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