Qantas announced its half-yearly earnings today, and it's doing quite well. What matters for you and I, though, is the fact that it's announced new premium economy seats for its 787 Dreamliner — the plane that'll be flying some of the longest routes in the world, including a nonstop Perth to London leg.
Qantas' new premium economy seats are almost 10 per cent wider than the existing premium economy cabin on its Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 superjumbo, and has a deeper recline. It's apparently as wide as the business class seats on some other airlines, although Qantas didn't elaborate on that claim.
It'll be laid out in a 2-3-2 config in the middle of the plane between business and economy, with more room than the 3-3-3 economy layout but less personal space than Qantas' Business Suite. Five storage compartments for your personal gear are complemented by two USB charging ports and AC power between each seat pair. A high-def 13-inch screen — 25 per cent larger than existing PE — will show Qantas' in-flight entertainment to customers.
Premium economy will have its own separate 28-seat cabin on the Dreamliner, and will be part of the 236-seat jet alongside business and regular economy — no first. Qantas says its 787 will have a significantly lower seat density overall than competitors — United, for example, has 252 seats on the 787 it flies between the US and Australia.
The first Dreamliner — of eight — will be delivered to Qantas in October of this year, and will initially run on the Melbourne to Los Angeles route. In March, a Dreamliner will begin the Perth to London flight that'll directly link Australia and Europe for the first time. As for existing planes, Qantas will "assess updating existing Premium Economy cabins in-line with its fleet planning and product cycles."