Passengers travelling on Qantas flights through Brisbane are set to benefit from a multimillion dollar refurbishment of the airline’s terminal and lounges.
A new lounge precinct will be constructed in a domestic terminal expansion, increasing capacity by 30 per cent with the redesign of the existing Qantas Club and construction of a new Business Lounge and Chairmans Lounge.
Qantas’ existing First and Business Lounges in the International Terminal will be redesigned to create a single lounge experience, continuing the momentum of recent award winning lounge projects in Singapore and Hong Kong. The new lounge will increase the amount of space for customers to dine, work and relax.
Works on all of the new lounge facilities will begin before the end of the year with a staged completion throughout 2016 and early 2017.
The lounge announcement was made at Qantas’ Brisbane Heavy Maintenance Facility where Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce was joined by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to inspect works to upgrade the cabins of Qantas’ fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.
Around half of Qantas’ 67 Boeing 737 aircraft will undergo refurbishments at the Brisbane maintenance facility, which employs more than 700 people including more than 600 engineers. The rest will undergo works in Sydney to fast track the program.
Mr Joyce said the upgrade of the lounges as well as the refurbishment of the 737 fleet was part of the airline’s continued transformation.
“During the past two years we have invested in new lounges, upgrades to our A330 aircraft and rolled out more inflight entertainment options than ever before,” he said.
“The 737 is the backbone of our domestic fleet and this refresh is part of our strategy to deliver the best experience for our customers, whether they’re in the air or on the ground.
“Brisbane is a crucial hub providing connections between our major domestic routes and services into regional areas as well as international flights to Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong and as of a few weeks ago, daily flights to Tokyo.”
Twenty-nine of Qantas’ 737s already feature personal seat back video on demand inflight entertainment and the refurbishment will see wireless Q-Streaming entertainment installed on the 38 remaining aircraft allowing customers to stream 400 hours of content to their own personal device.
Each of the 737 aircraft will be fitted with an extra row of economy seats made possible by the reconfiguration of the rear galley and lavatories ensuring customers seated in the additional seats enjoy the same legroom and seat pitch offered throughout the economy cabin.
The addition of the extra six seats represents a three per cent increase in capacity for the 737 fleet, improving the economics of the aircraft.
Works to upgrade the airline’s fleet of 28 Airbus A330 wide body aircraft are also underway at the Brisbane facility
“Ten of our A330s are in service, offering a new fully flat Business Suite which has been described as the best domestic business class cabin in the world as well as upgraded Economy seating and in-flight entertainment,” Mr Joyce said.
“It takes a team of more than 200 engineers and support staff to transform each A330 aircraft and we expect to have 16 of the refurbished aircraft in service by the end of the year
“Queensland is where it all began for Qantas and we are very proud to maintain such a strong presence and commitment after almost 95 years of operations.”
Earlier, this week Qantas announced seasonal holiday flying with 48 return services between Brisbane and Christchurch and 36 return services between Brisbane and Wellington from 3 December 2015 to 22 February 2016.
Forward bookings for the recently launched daily service between Brisbane and Tokyo Narita are also very healthy helping drive inbound tourism to the city and south-east Queensland.