Skip to content
Home » Aviation News » Qantas Reveals New A220 Cabin And Wi-Fi Plans

Qantas Reveals New A220 Cabin And Wi-Fi Plans

Qantas Group has presented its H1 2024 update while updating fleet plans, revealing the new A220 cabin interiors, and announcing the expansion of its in-flight Wi-Fi services to cover international flights.

Qantas A220

Group Announces Fleet Improvements

  • QantasLink unveils interiors for new A220s; tickets are now available for purchase.
  • Qantas Domestic has placed an order for eight more A321XLR aircraft.
  • Schedule update: Wi-Fi will become available on international flights starting late 2024.
  • Significant digital upgrades are in the works to simplify the travel process for customers.
  • Jetstar boosts capacity by over 400,000 seats to cater to higher demand for budget-friendly vacations.
  • Innovative partnership with banks to initiate automatic refunds for COVID-related flight credits.

The Qantas Group is set to launch its new Airbus A220 aircraft next month, showcasing the latest cabin features that stem from a significant investment planned for the coming years. This exciting development was highlighted during the airline’s announcement of its half-year financial results, which included a commitment to enhancing customer service and offering more affordable tickets.

QantasLink recently welcomed the first two Airbus A220 jet aircraft into its fleet, marking the beginning of a new era as these planes start to replace the aging Boeing 717s. This delivery is the first installment of a total of 29 A220s that the airline plans to integrate, signifying a significant upgrade in both efficiency and passenger experience. With the fresh additions, QantasLink aims to enhance its service with advanced avionics and improved fuel economy offered by the A220s.

Qantas A220 Destinations

The A220 aircraft is set to connect an array of cities across Australia. It will serve routes between major urban centers such as Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane, and Canberra, as well as important regional hubs including Coffs Harbour and Launceston. This advanced aircraft outshines the 717s it is replacing by offering double the flight range, providing the capacity to cover any two destinations within Australia. Additionally, it opens up the possibility for new routes to several offshore locations in the future.

Cabin Features Qantas A220

  • The A220 seats 137 passengers with two distinguished cabins, featuring 10 business class seats in a 2-2 layout and 127 economy class seats arranged in a 2-3 layout.
  • Boasts the largest windows on any single-aisle aircraft, creating an expansive cabin feel.
  • Offers high-speed Wi-Fi at no cost, allowing seamless connectivity and entertainment through the enhanced Qantas Entertainment App.
  • Equipped with personal device holders and USB A and C ports for charging in both Economy and Business classes; Business seats include an additional wireless charging pad.
  • Provides a more comfortable experience in Economy with seats that have extra padding, surpassing the comfort of the 717 model.
  • Delivers roughly 20% more storage with increased overhead locker space, accommodating all passengers.
  • Cuts the noise footprint by up to 50% and reduces carbon emissions by 25%, underscoring the aircraft’s advancements in environmental efficiency.

Flights Ready To Book On Qantas A220 Now

Qantas now offers tickets for its first A220 commercial flights, which will start operating from March 1, 2024. These inaugural routes include Melbourne to Canberra and Melbourne to Brisbane. The network will extend to Melbourne to Hobart beginning in July 2024, followed by Melbourne to Coffs Harbour in October, and Melbourne to Launceston in November as the airline adds more aircraft.

For a limited time, frequent flyers have the opportunity to earn double Status Credits or double Qantas Points. To benefit from this offer, they must book any Qantas flight across the network before the deadline at 11:59 pm on February 27, 2024. For further details and to seize this offer, travelers should visit Qantas’s frequent flyer promotion page.

Additional A321XLRs for Qantas Domestic

The Qantas Group has recently expanded its domestic fleet, confirming the addition of eight more Airbus A321XLR aircraft from their earlier announced fleet renewal program. With this expansion, Qantas Domestic will now receive 28 of these advanced planes, with the first expected to arrive in early 2025.

The Airbus A321XLR is five meters longer than the 737s currently used, with seating for up to 200 passengers. This includes 20 Business class seats and 180 Economy class seats. This new model increases capacity by up to 15% without compromising the legroom.

Furthermore, the A321XLR boasts substantial improvements in reducing noise and fuel consumption, aligning with the Group’s commitment to lower emissions. These advancements signal a significant step towards meeting the Group’s environmental goals.

Qantas Group Accelerates International Wi-Fi Rollout

Qantas is upgrading its international aircraft fleet with high-speed, free Wi-Fi, starting at the end of 2024. The airline had waited for global satellite technology to evolve to a point where it can provide a reliable connection, on par with domestic service. The airline’s domestic Wi-Fi has uptake rates of 75 percent and even 100 percent on some routes. Qantas aims to match this performance for its international passengers.

The airline promises a “fast and free” international Wi-Fi service giving passengers access to a speedy and stable internet connection. Passengers can look forward to streaming movies, TV shows, news, and live sports with ease thanks to the partnership with broadband services provider, Viasat.

Qantas will refit its A330, B787, and A380 planes to connect to Viasat’s next-generation satellite network. The A330-200LR planes will enter the retrofit program within their existing maintenance schedule starting March 2024. The airline expects to complete the upgrades on these eight aircraft by the year’s end. This schedule will align with the launch of a new satellite covering South East Asia. Plans to begin upgrading the B787, A380, and A330-300s are set for 2025.

The company’s new A350 and B787 aircraft orders will come Wi-Fi ready. Additionally, Jetstar will introduce Wi-Fi to its international widebody aircraft beginning in 2026, coinciding with its Boeing 787 cabin updates.

Qantas Group Makes Major Investment In Digital Experience

Qantas and Jetstar are set to transform their digital platforms with a substantial investment dedicated to enhancing customer experience. Over the next three years, these airlines will channel millions into advanced technology. They aim to simplify travel management for their customers, particularly during unexpected disruptions. This rollout of digital enhancements will provide patrons with more streamlined and user-friendly online interactions.

  • Qantas continuously updates its app, adding more features for user convenience.
  • The app now includes a baggage tracking function, allowing customers to monitor their luggage at different journey stages.
  • Upcoming features, rolling out monthly, encompass:
    • Advanced baggage tracking
    • Real-time flight tracking
    • Immediate status updates during travel disruptions
    • Prompt responses to customer inquiries
  • A significant revamp of the Qantas website is slated for mid-2024, prioritizing speed and user-friendliness.
  • Jetstar advances the travel process by introducing online check-in for international travelers.
  • The brand-new Jetstar app offers an enhanced user experience, with live updates on flight changes and gate information.

Proactive Refunds Trialled For COVID Credit Holders

Next month, Qantas will initiate a new refund program for customers with unused COVID-19 credits. The airline has partnered with banks to create a system that allows them to issue automatic refunds, even if customers’ original payment methods, such as credit cards, have expired. This innovative approach simplifies the refund process for everyone involved.

Customers can expect to receive an email from Qantas confirming the successful return of their COVID-19 credit funds through this new program. Importantly, Qantas reminds everyone to stay vigilant as they will not request personal financial information via email, a common tactic scammers use.

Thanks to various measures, Qantas has already cleared more than 75% of the COVID credit balance. These include regular updates, expanding their consultant team at contact centers by over 200, and contacting customers who booked through travel agents.

The outstanding credit balance, which hit a high of $2 billion during the peak of COVID, has now significantly decreased to $468 million. Qantas continues to work on reducing this figure and supporting its customers through these proactive steps.

Qantas Group Update on Fares

Air travel prices have decreased as airlines like Jetstar expand their seating capacity, countering an earlier phase where high demand, supply chain disruptions, and elevated fuel costs were common. Since December 2022, the average ticket price has decreased by over 10 percent.

In the year 2023, Jetstar has sold upwards of 12 million tickets priced below $100 to cater to the robust demand for affordable leisure travel. To accommodate this trend, Jetstar is boosting its seat availability by approximately 240,000 on domestic flights and 200,000 on international flights in the first half of the year. This surge aims to enhance connections to sought-after destinations, including Bali, Korea, Japan, Cairns, and the Sunshine Coast.

Meanwhile, Qantas Frequent Flyer members have set a new record by booking 2 million Classic reward seats during the early months of the financial year, with the points required for these seats remaining unchanged since 2019.

Ticket prices are projected to keep falling as airlines continue to increase the number of available seats. However, the rise in airport and security costs outpaces general inflation and may influence future fare prices.

CEO Comments On New Customer Initiatives

Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson said: “We understand the importance of affordable air travel, and more capacity in the market means fares have fallen more than 10 percent since peaking in late 2022.

“In the first six months of this year, Jetstar is adding more than 400,000 seats across its network to help meet strong demand from people wanting to take a well-earned break as they also deal with cost of living pressures.”

Referencing a new fleet on display at a Qantas maintenance hangar in Sydney, Ms Hudson said: “We’re investing heavily in new aircraft that are a step-change from the technology they replace. They have more comfortable cabins and can fly further, opening up a lot of new routes domestically and overseas.

“These next-generation aircraft are up to 50 percent quieter and generate 20 percent less carbon emissions. We’re already seeing a significant benefit from lower fuel burn, which helps put downward pressure on fares, given it’s our biggest single cost.

“We know that staying connected is important to customers on international flights, and we’ve deliberately waited for the same high-speed connection we use domestically to be available on our overseas routes.

“The new widebody aircraft we have on order in the next few years will come with high-speed Wi-Fi enabled but today we’re announcing we’ll be fitting it to our existing long-haul aircraft from late 2024, which coincides with a new satellite launching that will significantly expand coverage.

“All of the investments we’re making are about supporting the great work our people do every day to deliver the best experience they can for our customers and restoring pride and confidence in the national carrier,” Ms Hudson added.

FactSheet: Qantas Investing In Customer Experience

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner