Qantas 747s get $250 million for superjumbo-style upgrade

Qantas has begun a $250 million project to bring its older Boeing 747 jumbo jets' interiors up to the standards of its Airbus A380 superjumbos.

The airline will upgrade the interiors of nine of its 747-400 aircraft, installing A380-style seats and improving in-flight entertainment.

"The new interiors will vastly improve the flying experience for tens of thousands of Qantas passengers every year," CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.

Each of the 747s will be fitted with 364 seats: 58 business, 36 premium economy and 270 economy. The aircraft's other interior fittings will also be stripped and replaced in the process, which will take six weeks per aircraft, the airline said.

Meanwhile, the airline reported improving yields - or average fares per passenger - across the airline group for July.

In its monthly release of capacity and traffic statistics, Qantas said total domestic yields for Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar were 9.4 per cent higher in July 2011, compared with the same month a year ago.

Yields for its international flying on Qantas, Jetstar International and Jetstar Asia were up seven per cent in July from a year ago, it said.

In terms of traffic, growth was strongest on Jetstar's domestic network, with 966,000 passengers carried in July, up 21.2 per cent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, Qantas domestically reported a one per cent rise in passenger traffic to 1.521 million.

Total passenger numbers across the airline group rose 6.2 per cent to $4.069 million, Qantas said.

Qantas mainline international flying - that is, planes with a red tail and white kangaroo - posted a 0.4 per cent increase in the number of passengers carried on a 1.5 per cent rise in capacity, measured by available seat kilometres.

Revenue seat factors were steady at 84.8 per cent.

Last month, Mr Joyce said Qantas international lost $216 million in 2010/11.

with AAP