Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas

‘World First’: Qantas’ Shock A350 Economy Cabin Design Revealed

In 2022, Qantas announced the launch of the world’s longest non-stop flights from Sydney to New York and London. Then in early 2023, we got our first glimpse of what business and first class would look like. But what about the rest of us plebs? Well, the flying Kangaroo has finally unveiled the rest of the aircraft interior, including a unique dedicated Wellbeing Zone, Premium Economy and Economy cabins. 

Related: Air New Zealand Unveils World-First ‘Skynest’ Sleep Pods, Arriving in 2024

Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas

With the relentless march of innovation, Qantas once again sets the bar sky-high for air travel. The airline made a bold leap by revealing the entire cabin design of its bespoke Airbus A350s, geared to dominate the long-haul travel scene starting in late 2025. Set to launch direct flights from Sydney to the cosmopolitan hubs of New York and London, Qantas offers luxury and a revolutionary approach to passenger wellness.

We were already privy to the luxe First and Business cabins in February. Fast forward a few months, and Qantas unveils the rest of the deck – a dedicated Wellbeing Zone, a spacious Premium Economy, and a roomy Economy cabin. Tens of thousands of hours have been poured into the cabin design since 2019, ensuring the intuitive and future-forward A350 interior can comfortably ferry 238 passengers to nearly any global destination – for up to 22 nonstop hours, no less.

Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas

As it’s fittingly dubbed, Project Sunrise promises to snip more than three hours off typical point-to-point travel times compared to one-stop routes. And with the $100 Million Plan to Upgrade Global Lounge Network already underway, Qantas has all the remedies to cure your jet lag.

Now, let’s delve into the world’s first airline Wellbeing Zone. Nestled between Premium Economy and Economy, this game-changing space is decked with sculpted wall panels, integrated stretch handles, a guided on-screen exercise program, a hydration station, and a smorgasbord of refreshments.

The 40-seat Premium Economy and the 140-seat Economy cabins come with roomy seat pitches, ergonomic leg and footrest systems, and plenty of personal storage options. Fast USB-C charging ports come standard across all seats, with premium seats flaunting integrated wireless charging.

Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas

But Qantas’ A350 isn’t just about legroom and tech bells and whistles; it’s an interconnected world up in the sky. Fast, free Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity span the entire plane, enabling passengers to sync their personal headsets with individual inflight entertainment screens. Makes you wonder about ‘Airplane Mode’, doesn’t it?

Qantas Group chief executive officer Alan Joyce emphasised the airline’s commitment to passenger comfort and wellbeing across all cabins. Joyce said, “Fewer seats translate to more space for each customer and a dedicated Wellbeing Zone for travellers to stretch, help themselves to a snack and spend time out of their seat. We are the only airline in the world that will have a bespoke designed onboard stretch and movement space.”

Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas

Qantas rolled out ground-breaking scientific research on mitigating jet lag and enhancing sleep and overall wellness during ultra-long-haul flights in line with this pledge. Australian designer David Caon, the creative brain behind the A350’s cabin layout, worked closely with seat manufacturers, paying attention to every detail – from fabric testing to redesigning the Premium Economy seat.

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In Caon’s words, “The new headrest wings are the biggest visible difference and will provide passengers with both additional support and a sense of privacy without isolating them from travel companions.”

Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas

Economy travellers aren’t left out either, with a 13″ OLED TV screen, foot net, and convenient storage space at arm’s length. “In both the Premium Economy cabin and Economy cabins, we have redesigned every element of the seats to provide better features as well as a fresh look across the entire aircraft to create a sense of light and calm,” added Caon.

The future of long-haul air travel is not only comfortable but looks after your wellbeing, and it’s landing in late 2025. Fasten your seatbelts for an unprecedented travel experience with Qantas A350.

Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas
Qantas Project Sunrise cabin design | Image: Qantas

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Elliot Nash
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Elliot Nash

Elliot Nash is a journalist and content producer from Sydney with over five years’ experience in the digital media space. He holds a Bachelor of Communications (Media Arts & Production) from the University of Technology Sydney and a Diploma of Screen & Media from the Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE. Specialising in pop culture, news & current affairs, photography, audio and hi-fi, Elliot’s work has featured in 9News.com.au, 7NEWS.com.au, Next Luxury, Alive Radio and WhistleOut. He currently works as a Context Executive at Yoghurt Digital.