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Thursday, March 23, 2023

A new dawn of travel, Qantas unveils “Project Sunrise”

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The First Business cabin prototypes for the aircraft that will carry passengers nonstop from Australia to New York and London starting in late 2025 have been unveiled by Qantas.

The cabin of the airplane has also been revealed in virtual reality.

The flagship cabins are the first to be built from the ground up with ultra-long-haul travel in mind. They were created by a team of aviation experts, an Australian industrial design studio, Caon Design, and a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, including sleep scientists.

Giving customers extra space has been a key component of the interior design, made feasible by Qantas’ choice to build its 12 Airbus A350s to seat 238 passengers as opposed to the 300+ seat configuration chosen by other carriers.

The investment in new A350 aircraft and the approach to cabin design, according to Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, is a continuation of the airline’s 100-year legacy of aviation “firsts.”

“Qantas has been the leader in opening up new long-haul flights for most of our history, and we’re bringing everything we’ve learned, both technically and in terms of passenger comfort, to Project Sunrise flying,” said Mr. Joyce.

“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.

“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.”

Customers staying in the roomy First suite will enjoy the extra-wide fixed bed, separate recliner chair, personal wardrobe, dining table for two, and 32″ ultra-high definition TV that will give them the impression that they are in a small boutique hotel room.

In order to make traveling around the cabin easier, every Business suite will have direct aisle access. Qantas is also installing sliding doors inside the room to provide seclusion if requested.

Other amenities in the Business include a two-meter flatbed, lots of storage space (including a big mirror), a leather ottoman with a cushion, an 18″ ultra-high definition touch screen TV, a big dining table, and accent lighting.

Moreover, First and Business will have several ways to charge mobile devices, including wireless induction charging.

Following the successful completion of major satellite launches covering the Qantas international network, the Qantas A350 will provide quick and cost-free high-speed Wi-Fi with partner Viasat.

All passengers will be able to attach their own Bluetooth-enabled headset to the in-flight entertainment system thanks to the aircraft’s Bluetooth connectivity.

Every opportunity has been taken, according to Australian designer David Caon, to enhance well-being and comfort in the First and Business suites.

“We began designing this aircraft cabin five years ago, working with Airbus and Qantas to maximize space, as well as creating a tailored lighting program that will influence mood and sleep patterns,” said Mr. Caon.

“All the design and service elements will work together to significantly improve inflight comfort, convenience, and health and wellbeing and help minimize 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.

“There are also a number of storage design elements to keep personal items within arm’s reach so the space can be personalized by each individual passenger to feel just like they are in their own bed at home.”

Six First Suites in a 1-1-1 arrangement and 52 Business Suites in a 1-2-1 configuration will both be available on the Qantas A350.

The Premium Economy and Economy cabins will be introduced in the coming months, along with a Wellness Zone for all travelers.

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