Qantas revealed on Monday that the world’s longest flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York will feature new First Class cabins with separate fully-flat beds, as well as a multibillion-dollar order for 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to make the trips a reality.
The planes will have specially designed fuel tanks to allow for the long trips, and Qantas says it will provide industry-leading levels of comfort in every cabin class to make the 20+ hour rides comfortable.
The Qantas A350’s crown jewel will be a fresh new First Class bedroom with a separate bed and recliner lounge chair, as well as a 32-inch television screen, a personal wardrobe, and plenty of other storage, all contained within a private apartment separated from the cabin by a sliding door.
Although there will only be six First Class suites on the A350, Qantas claims that passengers in all classes will have plenty of room to stretch out. In comparison to rival carriers, which can fit more than 300 passengers on an A350, the Qantas A350 will only be able to accommodate 238 passengers.
There will be 52 Business Class Suites (with sliding doors), 40 Premium Economy seats with a 40-inch pitch, and 140 Economy seats with a 33-inch pitch.
Qantas also intends to create a special ‘Wellbeing Zone’ where passengers would be able to stand and stretch out throughout the roughly 12-hour journeys. For Business Class passengers, there will be a separate walk-up bar.
After details of the event were leaked a day early, CEO Alan Joyce officially announced the A350 order at a special ceremony in Sydney on Monday. Due to the pandemic, the announcement was delayed by two years, although Qantas still aims to have the planes ready by 2025.
Work done prior to the epidemic has already had an impact on the airline’s service and design concepts for the flights, and Joyce claims that demand for direct non-stop flights to and from Australia has never been higher.
“For more than 100 years, Qantas has been at the forefront of transforming the way the world travels, particularly through direct flights,” Joyce commented.
“Now, the A350 and Project Sunrise will make almost any city in the world just one flight away from Australia. It’s the last frontier and the final fix for the tyranny of distance that has traditionally challenged travel to Australia.”
“The Qantas A350 travel experience will be truly exceptional, particularly across the premium cabins. Our First and Business Class Seats will set a new benchmark for premium long-haul travel,” Joyce continued.
Joyce added that the plane might be used on additional ultra-long-haul trips such as Frankfurt and Paris, in addition to London and New York.
Photo cover by Qantas