The improvements for Qantas keep rolling in. On the heels of the airline announcing its new faster inflight Wi-Fi, the airline has revealed its next generation Premium Economy seat. Set to debut on the airlines fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in October, the new seat offers more than additional space.
Increased space was definitely a key factor in the new design. The new premium seats are 10% wider than existing Qantas Premium Economy seats, making them as wide as those offered in Business Class on competing airlines. Though, what makes the design truly unique and “class-leading” is the use of increased functional space, most notably the new recline feature. As passengers move the seat back, several sections shift to support the body as it moves into a more relaxed position.
Further comfort is provided by an ergonomically designed headrest that can be fitted with a specially designed pillow. The seat also features a re-engineered footrest that provides further support while the seat is reclined.
The new design was unveiled at the airline’s Sydney headquarters by Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who commented, “The Qantas Dreamliner will be flying some of the longest routes in the world, including non-stop from Perth to London, so we’ve focused on making each cabin the most comfortable in it’s class. “This new Premium Economy seat has serious wow factor. You have to experience how well it supports you when you recline to realise it’s completely different from anything else in its class.
“When you combine these seats with the increased cabin humidity and turbulence reducing technology on the Dreamliner, it makes an aircraft customers will really enjoy flying on,” Joyce said.
The new Premium Economy seat will feature in a separate cabin of 28 seats, with a 2-3-2 configuration that offers improved aisle access to middle-seat passengers. It will also offer high-definition Panasonic inflight entertainment setback screens that are 25% larger, and five individual storage compartments, two USB charging stations, shared AC power and a personal LED light designed to minimise disturbance of other passengers.
The new Qantas Premium Economy seat is based on a prototype by Thompson Aero Seating, which has been heavily customised by leading Australian industrial designer David Caon.
“Developing a new seat comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities … We’ve made sure this seat offers genuine comfort through design elements not seen before on aircraft. There are a number of new bespoke design elements that we hope will really set the benchmark for this class,” said Caon.
The first of eight Qantas Dreamliners will be delivered in October this year, with the first international 787 services taking flight in December (between Melbourne and Los Angeles).