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Qantas unveils stretch area for 20-hour Project Sunrise flights

written by Adam Thorn | June 16, 2023

The ‘wellness zone’ on Qantas Project Sunrise A350-1000s

Qantas has unveiled the first photos of the unique stretching area located on its Project Sunrise A350-1000s that will fly for up to 20 hours.

The ‘Wellbeing Zone’, accessible to all passengers, will feature “sculpted wall panels” and “integrated stretch handles” as well as a guided on-screen exercise program.

Project Sunrise is the code name for Qantas’s plan to fly non-stop from London and New York to the east coast of Australia using a new fleet of 12 specially-adapted A350-1000s.

Due in 2025, its launch will be one of the most significant moments in the airline’s history.

Qantas had previously released pictures and video of its first and business-class cabins, but on Friday provided more information on the rest of the aircraft.


The airline says its 40-seat premium economy cabin and the 140-seat economy cabin would have the most generous seat pitches of any of its aircraft and “ergonomic leg and foot rest systems”. It even claimed its teams tested the “breathability of the seat fabrics” in the new economy seat, which will have 33 inches of legroom.

“Every seat across all four cabins will feature multiple fast USB-C charging ports, and every premium seat will also have integrated wireless charging,” said the business in a statement.

“The Qantas A350 fleet will connect customers more than any other with fast and free WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity will feature across all cabins so customers can connect their personal headset to the individual inflight entertainment screen.”

Chief executive Alan Joyce added that Project Sunrise gave the airline the opportunity to “re-think long-haul travel in its entirety”.

“Reducing the number of seats onboard our A350 to 238 compared to the 300-plus seat layout of other carriers means we not only maximise aircraft performance across long distances, we give our passengers more space and comfort,” he 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.”

Designer David Caon said premium economy had been designed “from the ground up” with a focus on ergonomics, entertainment and privacy.

“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,” he said.

“An upholstered ergonomic foot and leg rest system allows the body to be cradled in recline to better help passengers sleep.

“Economy travellers also have an OLED 13” TV screen, foot net and convenient storage space within arms’ reach to store glasses and personal items.

“The team has spent extensive time testing ergonomics, lumbar support and breathability of the seat fabrics in the new Economy seat, which will have 33 inches of legroom.

“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.”

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