— Updated on 24 February 2023

First Look: Qantas Reveals A350 ‘Project Sunrise’ First & Business Class Cabins

— Updated on 24 February 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

With its half-year financial results for 2023 announced today, Qantas has celebrated the news that the airline has returned to profit by revealing the long-awaited first look at possibly its most important products to date. That is, Qantas has given us details on what to expect from the First and Business Class cabins onboard its imminent Airbus A350 fleet, which will be used to service Project Sunrise flights non-stop from Australia to New York and London.

Australia’s flag carrier, which has reported a $1.43 billion underlying profit before tax for the aforementioned financial results, is still awaiting the first of 12 Airbus A350s which will take pride of place in the Qantas fleet and be used to fly those ultra-long-haul routes. The airline has chosen to configure all 12 aircraft to seat 238 passengers in total, which is shaving off the 300-plus seat layout specified for the A350 by other carriers.

This more compact layout means a different overall design to the Qantas A350s, aiming to give each passenger significantly more space onboard these modern vessels. And this should hopefully translate to a better overall experience, necessary given passengers will be flying non-stop across some of the longest flights in the world.

As such, Qantas bought on a multidisciplinary team of scientists, including sleep scientists, from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre to help inform the overall design and lean on everything Qantas has learned across its 100-year history.

We’ve rounded up what we know so far about both the Qantas First Class Suites and the Business Class seats onboard these forthcoming A350s.

Qantas A350 First Class

Qantas First Class on A350

The Qantas’ First suite on the A350 will be designed, according to a press release, like a “mini boutique hotel room” with an extra-wide fixed bed and a separate chair recliner so passengers have the option of both. Also featured will be a personal wardrobe, a dining table for two and a 32″ screen sitting next to a shelving unit for more stowage.

Building upon details first revealed in May 2022, the A350 First cabins will have six First suites in a two-row 1-1-1 layout. Privacy is paramount and it seems like the designer is determined to make these the most spacious First Class suites in the sky. From the photos released today, it looks like there have been many similar choices to the A350 First suites used by Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines.

Qantas A350 First Class Suite

Each suite comes with its own sliding privacy door, behind which those two seats – remember, one being a recliner and one being an actual bed – sit comfortably in the space.

Many small design details will help passengers keep their suite free of the usual clutter. As you can see, a carry-on bag can be tucked into the space below the ottoman, which also has a hidden compartment so the slippers are revealed from a drawer.

That personal wardrobe looks rather spacious as well. It’s built into the wall panelling for a seamless aesthetic and inside is ample space to hang clothes. This should also be where passengers would find their slick Martin Grant pyjamas.

A master control panel that includes all the suite’s functions, as well as temperature and humidity levels sits on an armrest near the recliner, right next to a dedicated laptop holder so everything is nice and accessible during the flight.

Qantas A350 Business Class

Qantas A350 Business Class

Onboard the A350 ‘Project Sunrise’ flights will be 52 Business Suites laid out in a 1-2-1 staggered configuration. The popular layout means all seats will have direct aisle access for passengers when they’ve not fortified their own space with the individual privacy sliding doors.

The next-gen Qantas A350 business class experience will be based on a product from Safran Seats, optimised to play around with the spaciousness of the aircraft’s design and styled by David Caon.

Given the cabin is wider than usual, the Qantas A350 Business Suite is 42 inches wide, which means a 25-inch wide seat that can be turned into a two-metre-long bed.

Numerous charging options sit alongside ample stowage and a massive 18-inch UHD video screen. A wireless charging pad has been built into the benchtop next to the seat as well, so there should be no issue keeping your devices topped up during the flight.

Those needing to do some work or stream their own content during the flight should be happy to know that WiFi will be free and fast, tapping into Viasat’s satellite network.

Business Class passengers will also have access to self-service refreshment fridges for some small snacks and drinks for those who want something more than the a la carte menu offers. It doesn’t look as elaborate as the famed Emirates A380 bar, but the option is welcome nonetheless, especially given these Project Sunrise flights mean passengers are in the air for 18-20 hours.

Qantas has yet to reveal what its highly-touted Wellbeing Zone onboard the A350 will look like, along with Premium Economy and Economy cabins so we’ll keep you updated on that when news comes in over the next few months.

Qantas ‘Project Sunrise’ flights to destinations like London, New York and Paris will begin in 2025.

Subscribe to B.H. Magazine

Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


Share the article