Qantas Completes First A380 Cabin Refresh

Qantas Completes First A380 Cabin RefreshQantas’ first refurbished Airbus A380 is set to return to service next Monday with a brand new interior.

The airline is currently in the process of upgrading its A380s with brand new Business and Premium Economy seats, and refreshed First Class and Economy seats.

VH-OQK (named John and Reginald Duigan) is the first Qantas A380 to receive the mid-life interior refresh. It has been in Dresden, Germany for the past two months and will return to service with a brand new interior next Monday, 30 September 2019 as QF2 from London to Sydney via Singapore.

From then, the upgraded Qantas A380 will operate as QF1 to London on 2, 5 and 8 October, returning from London to Sydney as QF2 on 3, 6 and 9 October.

According to TheInsider, the next aircraft to be refurbished will be VH-OQH, which will return to service on 10 December 2019. The entire A380 fleet is scheduled to be progressively upgraded by the end of 2020 – although if it’s anything like the Qantas A330 refurbishment program, it may run behind schedule.

You can tell whether you’re flying on an upgraded Qantas A380 by checking the seat map, for example using Expert Flyer. In the new Qantas A380 configuration, Business Class is in a 1-2-1 layout from rows 11 to 28 and Premium Economy is from rows 31 to 40:

New Qantas A380 Business & Premium Economy seat map
New Qantas A380 Business & Premium Economy seat map

In the old layout, Business Class has a 2-2-2 configuration and there are fewer rows of Premium Economy:

Old Qantas A380 Business & Premium Economy seat map
Old Qantas A380 Business & Premium Economy seat map

The refreshed Qantas A380s no longer have a small Economy cabin on the upper deck – something which was very popular with frequent flyers.

The new Business and Premium Economy seats on the refurbished Qantas A380s will closely resemble those currently found on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This represents a significant upgrade for Business Class passengers…

Qantas Boeing 787 Business Class cabin
Qantas Boeing 787 Business Class cabin

However, while the new Premium Economy seat is well-designed, Qantas is retaining the relatively poor legroom it has given the seats on its Dreamliners…

New Qantas A380 Premium Economy
New Qantas A380 Premium Economy

The lounge area at the front of the upper deck will also be refurbished…

Artist's impression of new Qantas A380 lounge
Artist’s impression of new Qantas A380 lounge

There are more Business and Premium Economy seats in the new layout – and fewer Economy seats. Despite this, the overall seat count increases by one. This would indicate that Qantas has found a way to use the space on board more efficiently – which isn’t always good news for customers, but may go unnoticed if done cleverly.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas A380 refurbishment news and updates.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]