One of the impressive new features of Qantas’ new fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s is the Premium Economy seating. Premium Economy is a separate cabin of 28 seats, configured in a two-three-two layout to improve aisle access for middle passengers. Outside of alcohol, the second highest commodity on a flight is seat space. Each Premium Economy seat is as wide as Business Class on other airlines as well as possessing a re-engineered footrest and increased recline that both significantly improve comfort.
Other key Premium Economy features include high-definition Panasonic in-flight entertainment seatback screens that are 25 percent larger than what came before. Five individual storage compartments, two USB charging points per seat, as well as shared AC power and a personal LED light designed to minimise disturbance of other passengers. Or if you just want to sleep, an ergonomically designed headrest can be fitted with a specially designed pillow.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce unveiled the seats explaining that the “Qantas Dreamliner will be flying some of the longest routes in the world, including non-stop from Perth to London, so we’ve focused on making each cabin the most comfortable in its class”. The new Premium Economy seat is based on a prototype by Thompson Aero Seating and heavily customised by leading Australian industrial designer David Caon. “Our Business Suite has been dubbed ‘mini First Class’ by some of our Frequent Flyers, and our Economy seat for the Dreamliner has features that some reserve for Premium Economy,” said Mr Joyce.
The Qantas Dreamliner will seat 236 passengers across Business, Premium Economy and Economy which will debut in the airline’s fleet from October with early flights travelling between Melbourne and Los Angeles. The other new addition which may sell you the Dreamliner is two self-service bars – one for Business and one in Economy to provide passengers with the opportunity to socialise and help themselves to drinks and snacks in-flight. It’s about time!