The Qantas low-cost business unit – Jetstar – is getting ready for a fleet refresh for its long-haul Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
The upgrade includes overhauling the economy and business class cabins with new seating, inflight connectivity and lie-flat crew rest areas to fly greater distances, with a doubling of business class seats.
Let us dive in – there is a lot to go over of what Jetstar is proposing.
All current economy and business seats are to be replaced with new seats by RECARO Aircraft Seating.
The airline has not disclosed which models of seats Jetstar has selected at this time.
Jetstar states the seating in economy class will feature seatback smartphone and tablet holders, a power outlet to keep devices charged and six-way headrests for head and neck support. There will be no change to the current seating pitch (30″ long, 17″ across in economy class, 38″ long, 19″ across in business class).
As it is noted the business class bookings increase, and the airline is increasing its business class seats from 21 to 44 seats. It will also develop new ways for customers – including Club Jetstar members to book a business seat. In the business cabin, the seats will have device holders, a power outlet, headrests and a generous recline.
To accommodate the extra business seats, the total number of seats across the aircraft (business and economy) will drop by 10 to 325. The airline operates its business class seats in a 2-3-2 formation and its economy seats in a 3-3-3 layout.
It seems that the Jetsrtar long-haul aircraft will gain inflight connectivity to allow passengers to stay connected in the air. This allows for surfing the internet or streaming content from Jetstar’s entertainment collection. Customers will be able to access in-flight connectivity using their own devices.
A supplier has not been identified at this time. In the past, Qantas has partnered with Viasat to deliver inflight connectivity.
However, inflight screens that may exist on the aircraft will be removed to be more sustainable (and not pay for the maintenance of a seatback IFE system).
Hello, Crew Rest.
A new lie-flat crew rest area will be installed above the economy cabin at the rear of the aircraft, so the crew can get the rest they need to operate longer flights.
This would indicate that Jetstar is looking beyond its current network, with them eyeballing direct flights from Australia as far as India, Sri Lanka or Africa.
Of course, nothing has been planned… yet. But it’s an interesting wrinkle to make further use and sweat its assets a little harder.
Jetstar Group CEO, Stephanie Tully said:
“This multi-million-dollar fleet revamp will allow us to offer our customers more choice, comfort and amenities when flying longer distances internationally.
“Our existing 787 business class offering is extremely popular, so we’re doubling the number of business class seats, and to keep customers connected in the air, we’re introducing on-board wi-fi.
“The new crew rest areas mean our crew will be able to get the rest they need to operate longer flights, unlocking the possibility of exciting new destinations like Sri Lanka and India.”
Erika Pearson, Boeing vice president, Commercial Sales and Marketing, Southeast Asia and Oceania added:
“Congratulations to our partners at Jetstar on the first of many decades flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.”
“This milestone is a testament to Jetstar’s dedication to investing in market-leading environmental performance and providing unmatched comfort to passengers in Australia and across the globe.”
If you’re excited about this upgrade you’ll have to temper your expectations, with the airline noting the refits will be progressively completed during scheduled aircraft maintenance from late 2025. They’ll also get a new coat of paint, reminiscent of the Jetstar A321neo paintwork
There are more than a few questions to get answers to – as seating models do change, and even in Recaro’s catalogue, there are a fair few options that could be used in Jetstar’s Business and Economy Classes, as well as who is going to provide the connectivity (now that the seatback screens are on the way out).
We’ll have to wait and see as designs are finalised and what products are set for installation aboard Jetstar’s fleet of 10 Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
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