Qantas announces premium economy start date

Seats for Qantas’s international premium economy cabin have just gone on sale. Priced at double or treble the cost of an economy excursion (depending on season of travel) the new product is designed for the carrier’s longest sectors to Europe, Asia and the US.

John Borghetti, Qantas’s executive general manager, said the new seating will be seen from the beginning of April on selected B747-400 services between Sydney and Johannesburg and also on the carrier’s blue-riband route from Sydney to London via Singapore and Bangkok.

Other routes to gain the new seating will be Melbourne to London (via Singapore and Hong Kong) from mid-May. Flights to the US will follow in late 2008.

Qantas’s A380 superjumbos, which enter service in the last quarter of 2008, will also get premium economy seating.

Qantas will fit each B747-400 with 32 seats configured in a standard 2-4-2 layout. There will also be 32 seats on the A380 but these will be disposed 2-3-2. Seat width will be 50cm and legroom will be 102cm. These figures are similar to rival carriers.

Qantas says that passengers will benefit from priority check-in, additional hand-baggage allowance, and priority boarding and disembarkation.

Return fares from London to Hong Kong start from £1,009, to Bangkok from £1,295, to Singapore from £1,392, to Melbourne from £1,801 and to Sydney from £1,809.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic currently offer premium economy seating network-wide and this includes the kangaroo route between London and Sydney.

Other carriers featuring this type of seating on various routes include Japan’s ANA and JAL (from December), Bmi, Taiwan’s Eva Air, SAS and Zoom.

For more information visit qantas.com.

Report by Alex McWhirter


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