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July 16, 2024
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Qantas shared images and details of the full cabin of the Airbus A350-1000 that it will use on the ultra-long-haul services from Melbourne and Sydney to the US and London from late 2025. The cabin includes a well-being zone that allows passengers to literally stretch their legs and walk around during non-stop flights. Qantas gets physical on the A350-1000.

The well-being zone includes particular features to make long flights more comfortable. Not only is there a range of refreshments on offer, but passengers can actually do some physical exercises using integrated stretch handles and follow an on-screen program.

The cabin design, which has been worked on since 2019, includes the results from lessons taken from a research project of Qantas and the Charles Perkins Center of the University of Sydney. The two have worked together on long-haul travel research in 2015 when Qantas started preparations for the non-stop Perth-London route. In 2019, three Project Sunrise flights with a Boeing 787-9 were operated from Sydney to London and New York which also collected data on passenger and crew comfort.

One of the conclusions from the study is that different lighting and sleep schedules, mealtimes, and specific ingredients like chili and chocolate during long-haul flights contribute to improved traveler well-being. Physical movement along the plane, for which the aft galleys were used on the demo flights, also is important to feel comfortable. Qantas, Airbus, and Charles Perkins Center will run a cabin lighting test later this year at Airbus in Hamburg, which has in-depth knowledge of aircraft interiors.

Fewer seats for more comfort

Instead of 300 or even 400 seats, Qantas has opted for a 238-seat cabin with four different products: First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy. “Our A350s will have about 100 fewer seats than most of our competitors, which gives us room for more space in all classes as well as a Wellbeing Zone for Premium Economy and Economy passengers to stretch. People can choose how they spend their time but we’ll make recommendations based on science around menu choices and best times to eat or rest. That extends to before and after the flight to improve how people feel when they arrive on the other side of the world,” CEO Alan Joyce says in a media statement.

The well-being zone on the A350-1000 features a self-service galley with refreshments. (Qantas)

Earlier this year, the carrier revealed details of the six First Class suites in a 1-1-1 configuration and 52 Business Class suites in a 1-2-1 configuration, which all come with privacy doors. Qantas has now also shared details of the other cabins, which have been designed by Australian designer David Caon. There will be forty Premium Economy seats in a 2-4-2 configuration that feature two headrest wings for more comfort. The seat pitch is 40 inches.

In between Premium Economy and Economy is the well-being zone, which spans across the full width of the cabin. The self-serve cabinet with refreshments is located in the center of the zone while the area for physical exercises is located on the starboard side of the aircraft.

There will be forty Premium Economy seats on the A350-1000. (Qantas)

Economy Class has 140 seats with a seat pitch of 33 inches and seats with adjustable headrests. Seats in all classes come with extra storage space for personal items and have screens with varying diameters.

As Alan Joyce and CFO Vanessa Hudson explained in Istanbul last week, Qantas expects that the fleet of twelve A350-1000s will generate A$400 million in incremental profits by FY30. Airbus’ A350 Head of Project Florent Massou dit Abaquere confirmed during a presentation on Tuesday that the Project Sunrise aircraft will get a rear center tank with extra fuel for additional range.

author avatar
Richard Schuurman
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016. Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

1 thought on “Qantas gets physical on the A350-1000

  1. Excellent Job Qantas! However, Qantas has unfortunately made six months delay to Mid 2026 because of the need to redesign the fuel tank bigger so that the plane can stay in the sky for 20+ hours nonstop.

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