Australian carrier Qantas has finally unveiled first and business class cabins for its future Airbus A350-1000 fleet.
The presentation of this new long haul premium cabin product had long been awaited by the aviation community, in no small measure because it has been designed with one of the world’s longest air routes in mind.
Qantas ordered 12 A350-1000s in May 2022, as the aircraft of choice for its so-called “Project Sunrise”, the launch of nonstop flights between Australia’s Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York.
The flights, which are expected to start in 2025, will be around the 20-hour mark, which means that the Australian carrier has placed special attention on the design of the passenger experience.
In order to make those ultra-long-haul flights more bearable, Qantas has not only worked with Australian industrial design studio, Caon Design, but also with sleep scientists from the University of Sydney. The flag carrier has also worked with an array of aviation experts who have contributed their insights to a design process that first began more than five years ago.
Qantas A350-1000s will have a low-density configuration. While the A350-1000 can potentially carry more than 300 passengers, Qantas has opted to fit them with only 238 seats, six of which will be the airline’s first class suites and 52 business class seats.
In addition to the extra space afforded by this low seat count, the aircraft will also be fitted with a dedicated well-being area.
The first class suites aim to replicate the boutique hotel experience (that is, within the constraints of an aircraft environment). They will have extra-wide fixed bed, a separate lounge recliner, a personal wardrobe, a dining table for two and a 32” ultra-high-definition television screen.
Business class seats will all boast direct aisle access and sliding doors for enhanced privacy. Other features include a two-meter flat bed, a cushioned leather ottoman and an 18” ultra-high-definition touch screen television.
While the premium economy and economy class cabins for the same aircraft have not been officially presented yet, Qantas expects to do so in the coming months.