A video of Qantas refitted 747-400 with A380 features including new seats, cabin mood lighting and espresso machines. The 747-400 has 58 Business Class seats, 36 Premium Economy, 270 Economy seats and no First Class. Seat layout plan is here.
Five have been refitted now. Three more 747s will be refitted by October 2012.
It is great that the 747 is going to look great but it is of concern that Qantas are continuing to fly an aeroplane that should be retired. Not only will it cost Qantas more in excessive fuel consumption, but older planes cost more to maintain.
I am curious that they are being used on the Dallas to Brisbane route. That route is crying out for the better fuel efficiency and range of the A380. aThe 380 does Sydney-LAX instead. Surely that needs a swap?
In the meantime, Qantas has been lobbying the Australian government over the purchase of a share of Virgin Australia by Etihad. Qantas has warned it could go under. It seems logical to me that Etihad may take an interest in all of the Virgin air brands: Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia and Virgin America (although US regulations limit foreign ownership).