Economy class passengers are often derisively referred to as ‘self-loading cargo’.
Years ago United’s website used to talk about upgrading into first class, business class, or economy. Presumably passengers would upgrade to economy from cargo.
So maybe the idea isn’t entirely original, but in an off the record talk (“Chatham House rule“) as a way of suggesting they’re trying to rethink the entirety of the aircraft as they envision non-stop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London the CEO of Qantas says they could put sleeper berths for passengers down in cargo.
One of the concepts that we have is maybe if we’re not carrying freight you do something lower where cargo is on the aircraft, do you have an area where people can walk? Do you have berths like on a train?
There’s a lot of ‘out there’ thinking that’s going on.. I don’t know if in 2022 if there’s another going to be another class but if there is Qantas is likely to be the airline that creates it.
He says that if the latest generation of A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft cannot make New South Wales – London non-stop with a full passenger load and with full cargo that “Qantas would look to radically overhaul the cargo hold for passenger use.”
Separately he suggested that no airline makes money on first class but it’s necessary and they’ll never get rid of it. Reports of his talk do not include an unpacking of that sentiment. He also shared that he could see Qantas flying to Paris, Berlin or Frankfurt some day – though London is the priority – but that destinations in southern Europe if served would be Jetstar routes.
(HT: Jackie Reddy)