Qantas has unveiled first and business class cabin product concepts for its Airbus A350-1000s, which will operate the ultra-long-haul ‘Project Sunrise’ flights from Australia’s east coast to New York and London.
The update, issued alongside its half-year earnings on 23 February, comes more than half a year since the airline locked in its orders for 12 A350s, with deliveries to commence in 2025. The first ‘Project Sunrise’ flight will take place in late-2025, the airline adds.
The newly-designed first and business class seats are designed and developed by Australian industrial design studio Caon Design, scientists from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, as well as aviation specialists, says Qantas.
The A350s will seat six first class and 52 business class passengers. The first class ‘suite’ product features a fixed bed with a separate recliner chair, as well as a personal wardrobe and a two-person dining table.
The business class product features a 2m lie flat bed, a leather ottoman, a large dining table and a privacy sliding door.
The aircraft will have 238 seats across four classes - the lowest seat count compared to other -1000 operators, which configured their aircraft to seat more than 300 passengers.
Qantas previously said the A350s will feature a ‘wellbeing zone’ for all passengers. The airline says it will provide more details on the remaining cabin products “in the coming months”.
Qantas first disclosed its ultra-long-haul ambitions in 2017, under the ambit of Project Sunrise. In 2019, it began operating three research flights, using its Boeing 787-9s to fly from London and New York to Sydney.
Later that year, the airline announced its provision selection of the A350-1000 as its aircraft of choice for the Project Sunrise flights. It previously indicated plans to roll out ultra-long-haul flights from the first half of 2023, but had to pause these plans when the coronavirus pandemic struck.