A video of Qantas refitted 747-400 with A380 features including new seats, cabin mood lighting and espresso machines. The 747-400 has 58 Business Class seats, 36 Premium Economy,  270 Economy seats and no First Class.   Seat layout plan is here.

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Five have been refitted now. Three more 747s will be refitted by October 2012.

It is great that the 747 is going to look great but it is of concern that Qantas are continuing to fly an aeroplane that should be retired. Not only will it cost Qantas more in excessive fuel consumption, but older planes cost more to maintain.

I am curious that they are being used on the Dallas to Brisbane route. That route is crying out for the better fuel efficiency and range of the A380. aThe 380 does Sydney-LAX instead. Surely that needs a swap?

In the meantime, Qantas has been lobbying the Australian government over the purchase of a share of Virgin Australia by Etihad. Qantas has warned it could go under. It seems logical to me that Etihad may take an interest in all of the Virgin air brands: Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America (although US regulations limit foreign ownership).


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  • Stephan said,

    Um, the 747 is still pretty economical given current costs for the newer 777 and A380s. I don’t think it would be financially smart to start buying brand new airplanes when your fiscal house isn’t in order, do you? Then we’d all whine about their spendthrift ways! Too bad about losing F though…

  • les said,

    747-400ER flys the SYD – DFW – BRI route, not the -400. 400 and the 380 don’t have the range. This route would be taken over by the 787s in the future.

  • Martin J Cowling said,

    Hiya Les
    Yes you are correct they are 747-400ERs on that route,..I was being lazy and lumping all the 400s together. I understand that both the 747-400 and 747-400ERs are getting refurbed.
    I disagree on the range. The Airbus A380 is listed at 8,300 nautical miles while the 747-400ER is listed at 7,760 NM. NB The SYD- Dallas flight is the longest that any 747 does in the world at 7470 NM. I understand that there have been some close calls on the Syd-Dallas route with 747s diverting to re fuel mid flight. The 380 would relieve that stress.
    Qantas has always said that they will use the 380 on Sydney -Dallas and that the route was ideal for that craft’s range. http://www.nycaviation.com/2011/05/qantas-begins-flights-between-sydney-and-dallas-longest-747-route-ever/
    Qantas’ operations head Lyell Strambi told Australian Business Traveller recently, “Dallas/Fort Worth is one of those markets that probably will justify a larger plane now and well into the future.” http://www.ausbt.com.au/qantas-set-for-daily-dallas-flights-but-not-yet-on-the-a380

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