Qantas has announced plans to refurbish its fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
With the Australian carrier’s B767 aircraft being phased out, despite itself being refurbished in 2012, the B737 will form the backbone of its domestic fleet for the foreseeable future.
Lyell Strambi, chief executive officer of Qantas Domestic, revealed the refurbishment will encompass the interiors of all 67 aircraft.
The project will commence in mid-2015, with completion expected within 12 months.
Strambi said: “In addition to refreshing the look and feel of the cabin and improving seat comfort, some aircraft will also have improvements to inflight entertainment.”
Currently, 29 of Qantas’ B737s have been fitted with seat-back video and on-demand in-flight entertainment for each passenger. The refurbishment will see this extended to the 38 remaining B737s.
Strambi said: “This will allow customers to stream on-demand TV, movies and music direct to their own laptops, tablets or smartphones.
“Pending approval from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, customers will be able to use their portable electronic devices in flight mode throughout the entire flight.”
However, perhaps the most significant part of the refurbishment programme is that Qantas will be adding an additional six economy seats at the rear of the aircraft.
For those who are worried about possible implications to the existing seat space, don’t be. According to Qantas, the addition of seats has been made possible due to changes made to the galley and lavatory space, which resulted in a three per cent increase in capacity.