Time to get the race back on the track: Qantas refreshes

AIRLINES are back in the race to outdo each other, in a bid to beat the competition. This is good news for the industry, as the energy to boost the business creeps back.

For too long, airlines have been content to lie low, choosing to bide their time for the good times to roll back before deciding what next to do. Innovation takes a backseat, in a near Catch-22 predicament that you wish for a positive outcome yet not willing or have the courage to do something to achieve it.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced last week plans for a cabin product overhaul to be introduced by the end of next year. Other airlines are also quickly scrambling to piece together new ideas. It is becoming infectious.

Following on the heel of SIA, Qantas will “refresh” 16 Boeing 767 jets with new interiors and individual in-flight entertainment “as part of wider investment in the domestic customer experience.” Customers will enjoy in-flight entertainment streamed direct to iPads in every seat – what it termed as Q-streaming – making the Australian flag carrier, according to Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer Lyell Strambi, the first airline in the world to offer its customers the groundbreaking wi-fi entertainment technology.

Enough has been said about the lacklustre state of the airline industry, and it does not help adding to the gloom by wallowing in inertia, if not apparent helplessness. Time to get the race back on the track.

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About David Leo
David Leo has more than 30 years of aviation experience, having served in senior management in one of the world's best airlines and airports. He continues to maintain a keen interest in the business, writes freelance and provides consultancy services in the field.

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