Qantas new A380 interiors: First redesigned superjumbo takes off

The first Qantas A380 superjumbo to undergo a major revamp takes to the air on Tuesday, featuring new business class and premium economy seats as well as a redesigned on-board lounge.

Passengers flying business class will all finally have direct access to the aisle, with the airline's Business Suite in a 1-2-1 layout replacing the Skybeds' 2-2-2 layout. The previous cabin design saw passengers in window seats having to climb over their neighbour, when in flatbed mode, to access the aisle.

The multimillion dollar upgrade has seen the handful of sought-after economy class seats at the rear of the plane's upper deck replaced, making the deck exclusive to business class and premium economy passengers.

A total of 30 economy class seats have been removed while the number of premium economy seats has increased from 35 to 60.

The on-board lounge has been expanded with seating for up to 10 passengers from business or first class.

The 14 first class suits have also been upgraded, with new cushioning and a larger, higher resolution entertainment screen.

Take a look at the new Qantas A380 interiors in the gallery above.

Despite the reduction in economy seats in favour of larger premium seating, the overall capacity of the plane has increased by one to 485.

"The A380 is a crucial part of our long-haul fleet and this upgrade program will see customers enjoy everything the aircraft has to offer for years to come," said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

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"Working with Airbus, we've been able to use the cabin space more efficiently and improve the economics of the aircraft while also providing a better experience in every part of the aircraft.

"By the end of this upgrade, we'll have next-generation seating across our entire long-haul fleet of A380s, A330s and 787s."

The first revamped superjumbo takes off from London on Tuesday, flying via Singapore to arrive in Sydney late Wednesday morning.

Qantas' recommitment to its existing A380 fleet comes as the world's largest passenger jet falls out of favour with airlines around the world. Manufacturer Airbus announced in February it would cease production of the A380 in 2021, following the delivery of its final superjumbo to Emirates, the largest customer for the plane.

Qantas also cancelled its long-standing order for eight more A380s in February.

Just 12 years after taking off on its first commercial flight, the superjumbo has been superseded by newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft made from composite materials including carbon-fibre, rather than aluminium. These smaller aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350, have allowed airlines to fly longer distances and bypass traditional hubs in favour of point-to-point routes.

See also: Why we love the A380 superjumbo (even if airlines don't)

See also: Death of the A380: Airline to ditch entire superjumbo fleet

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