6 More Economy Seats, But Smaller Lavatories for 71 Qantas Boeing 737 Jets

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By Vittorio Hernandez | August 4, 2014 8:31 AM EST

In a move to boost the company's finances, Australian air carrier Qantas is adding six economy class seats for 71 of its Boeing 737s.  However, to give way to the added seats, the air carrier would have smaller lavatories and galleys. The current lavatories measure 3 x 3 foot.


A passenger walks past a Qantas Airways emblem at the Sydney International Airport terminal July 18, 2014. Australia's Qantas Airways said on Friday it had shifted the flight path for its London to Dubai route over Ukraine some 400 nautical miles to the south several months ago. A Malaysian airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA - Tags: TRANSPORT DISASTER BUSINESS LOGO POLITICS)

But Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Lyell Strambi assured passengers there would be no change to the amount of seating space for each economy traveler nor would the number of lavatories be cut.

He also said passengers would hardly notice the smaller lavatories since the new design utilises unused space below the sink. Passengers whose seats are in front of the lavatories would still be able to recline their seats even if the new design would have sculpted exterior walls.

The changes would increase to 174 the total number of seats in Qantas's 737 jets from its current 168 seats made up of 12 business class and 156 economy class seats. Despite the addition of 6 seats, Qantas would still be 2 seats lesser than competitor Virgin Australia's 176 seats for the same 737 aircraft.

The 737s are used by Qantas for its domestic flights. It has 67 such jets with an average age of 6.7 years, but it would go up to 71 in December with the delivery of 4 new 737s. However, Qantas would retire its 767s from its domestic routes in the first three months of 2015, while it would refit its A330s used for trans-continental flights with new fully flat seats in its business class in December 2014.

Also to be upgraded are Qantas's in-flight entertainment with 29 of its 737s offering seat-back entertainment systems, while 39 would have wireless Q-streaming installed to supplement the large screens that come down from the plane ceiling. The Q-streaming would allow customers to stream on-demand TV shows, movies and music to their own devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.

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A passenger walks past a Qantas Airways emblem at the Sydney International Airport terminal July 18, 2014. Australia's Qantas Airways said on Friday it had shifted the flight path for its London to Dubai route over Ukraine some 400 nautical miles to the south several months ago. A Malaysian airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA - Tags: TRANSPORT DISASTER BUSINESS LOGO POLITICS)
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