Aug 8 2018

Qantas unveils new seats, pop-up restaurants

The new Qantas business class seats for the airline’s A330 aircraft. The Marc Newson-designed seats will allow passengers to remain reclining during take-off and landing.

Qantas is confident its new business-class seats unveiled recently will be the best in Australia and Asia.

The Marc Newson-designed seats are more like the sort of “private suites” found in some first-class cabins and convert to beds that lie totally flat. The seats have a Panasonic entertainment system with 16-inch screens, a large work table and generous storage area.

Passengers will be allowed to remain reclined during take-off and landing.

The seats will be introduced on the airline’s Airbus A330s flying east-west in Australia and to Asia from the end of next year.

Each seat in the staggered 1-2-1 configuration will have a high level of privacy and direct aisle access. They will also have Wi-Fi and an AC power socket.

“Qantas invented business class and these new business suites reflect what we know our customers want, whether they are flying for work or leisure,” chief executive Alan Joyce said.

“We have created a product that has enough space to dine while working or, if you want to rest, to leave the seat in a recline position from take-off to landing.”

New economy seats are also on the way for 10 A330s on international routes and refurbished economy seats for the 20 A330s on domestic routes.

The airline is also introducing a series of “pop-up” dining experiences at airports in Australia, starting with gourmet pies at its Sydney Qantas Club.

The pop-ups, with different food at each, will also appear in the Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth lounges throughout the year.

In Sydney between 3pm and 6pm on September 12, Qantas will serve Bert’s Pies, a creation by Alex Woolley, head chef at the two-hatted Sydney restaurant, est.

Hospitality and entertainment group Merivale held a competition among its chefs to create the ultimate meat pie and Woolley’s creation was judged the best.

Woolley said: “I’ve always believed that someone who truly loves pies makes the best pies. It took me, and the taste buds of est’s 17 chefs, three weeks and 80 pies to perfect our version using classic flavours and good quality ingredients”.

Qantas has not released details of the other pop-ups but the domestic executive manager, customer experience, Samantha Taranto, said: “Qantas has a great reputation for partnering with Australia’s best suppliers and challenging the notion of traditional airline food.

“Pop-up restaurants are just another way Qantas is pushing the boundaries in how they source, prepare and serve food to ensure customers enjoy a quality and unique dining experience while travelling.”

Meanwhile, Tigerair has introduced an in-flight menu that includes hot breakfast items for the first time.

The “Tiger Bites” menu includes hot bacon and egg turkish roll and freshly baked banana bread. Lunch items include a triple chicken club sandwich platter, and a feta and Mediterranean roast vegetable wrap.

Tigerair Australia commercial director Carly Brear said: “Our new menu may not have been designed by Neil Perry (Qantas’s consulting chef) nor is it served on designer plates, but it is designed with value and the customer in mind. Menu items start from just $4.

“Recently we launched a new-look website (meals can be ordered online) and mobile app and there are many more exciting changes to come over the coming months.”

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