Fly non-stop to New York, London, and Paris in comfort onboard Qantas’ new first and business class cabins on its Airbus A350s.
The planes will feature six first-class suites in a 1-1-1 configuration and 52 business suites in a 1-2-1 layout.
Designed with ultra-long-haul travel in mind, the cabins were developed by a mix of aviation specialists, Australian industrial design studio Caon Design, and a team of scientists — including sleep scientists — from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.
“We think our A350 cabins have the most sophisticated and thoughtful design of any airline, combining cutting-edge technology with sleep research to shape the look and feel for what is effectively a new era of travel,” CEO Alan Joyce said.
“We’re building on the customer experience of our extremely popular non-stop flights from Perth to London as we keep working to make it easier to connect Australia with the rest of the world.”
While the suites won’t be available until 2025 for ‘Project Sunrise’ — direct flights between Australia, New York, and London — what can travellers expect?
“We began designing this aircraft cabin five years ago, working with Airbus and Qantas to maximise space, as well as creating a tailored lighting program that will influence mood and sleep pattern,” Australian designer David Canon commented.
“All the design and service elements will work together to significantly improve inflight comfort, convenience and health and well-being and help minimise the old nemesis of jetlag. Every element has been created for Qantas, from the reading light right down to the fabrics, to ensure that passengers spend their journey in refined comfort.”
Described as a mini boutique hotel in the sky, the first-class suites were designed using the latest in textile innovations and ergonomic design to create the most luxurious of experiences.
To create a sense of space, there are no overhead lockers; instead, storage is under the bed and is large enough to fit two large carry-on suitcases. There’s also ample storage throughout the suite perfect for headphones, books, laptops, and tablets.
Enclose yourself in your own bubble with a 1.4-metre-tall sliding door and watch a movie in privacy on the 32-inch ultra-high definition TV. The suites feature a reclining armchair a separate two-metre-long bed, and dining space for two.
Don’t worry about your clothes getting wrinkled and hang them up in your personal wardrobe. You can also tailor the temperature and humidity of the cabin to your liking and get some shut-eye with a personalised lighting program designed to improve sleep patterns.
Every business suite has direct access to the aisle for ease of moving around the cabin and sliding doors for further privacy — if required. Even the middle seats offer solitude and there’s no need to be elbow-to-elbow with your chair buddy with a motorised divider panel between the seats that can be lowered or raised.
Noise is reduced with the soft-touch material that lines the walls of the suite so sleeping is easier — especially on the two-metre bed. The bed is transformed from the cushioned leather ottoman which also lifts up to reveal extra storage space.
For that little extra room, suites in the first row of the business class section will have more legroom and a larger foot cubby.
To complete the business class experience, immerse yourself in a movie with an 18-inch ultra-high definition TV while enjoying your meal on a large dining table.
Gone are the days of downloading movies and TV shows before you take off, with all aircraft offering fast and free high-speed Wi-Fi. The planes will also feature Bluetooth connectivity — allowing passengers to connect their headsets to the in-flight entertainment system.
Each suite has a wireless charging pad, and AC, USB-A, and USB-C power outlets.
Watch: Qantas Airbus A350 first-class and business class fly-through
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Lead image: Qantas