Australia-based Jetstar will invest in a multi-million-dollar upgrade of its existing Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. The Qantas subsidiary has 11 of this aircraft type.
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. In common with the industry trend to move away from ‘pure’ low-cost carriers, the size of business class will increase from 21 seats to 44 while the total number of seats onboard will drop by 10.
All economy and business seats are being replaced with next generation designs by Recaro Aircraft Seating. The seating in economy will feature seat back 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 seat pitch.
In response to growing customer demand for more choice and extra comfort when flying long-haul, Jetstar will increase business seats to 44 from 21. 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. For the first time, Jetstar customers will be able to stay connected in the air. Onboard wi-fi will allow 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.
Group CEO, Stephanie Tully said the fleet upgrade will significantly enhance the medium to long-haul flying experience for customers.
“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.”