Qantas’ New A350 First Class Suite, Wellbeing Zone

Qantas’ New A350 First Class Suite, Wellbeing Zone

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As I wrote about earlier, Qantas has placed an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s, in what will be a major development for the airline. These planes will be used for “Project Sunrise,” whereby Qantas intends to fly nonstop from Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London starting in late 2025.

While I’ve covered the aircraft order as such, in this post I wanted to talk about what we know so far about Qantas’ A350-1000 interiors.

Qantas’ Airbus A350 configuration

Qantas’ A350-1000s will feature just 238 seats, spread across four cabins. That means Qantas will have first class, business class, premium economy, and economy. Qantas will have the fewest seats of any A350-1000 operator in the world. This very sparse configuration serves a couple of main purposes:

  • In order for these flights to be profitable, Qantas will have to heavily focus on premium traffic, so having more premium seats makes it easier to maximize revenue
  • Having fewer seats keeps the weight of the aircraft down, enabling these flights to be operated nonstop

As of now we know fairly little about business class, premium economy, or economy:

  • We know that business class will have 52 seats, and will be upgraded over Qantas’ current Boeing 787 business class; I’d imagine doors may be added, but we don’t know much beyond that
  • We know that premium economy will have 40 seats, and we’re expecting an improvement over Qantas’ current premium economy, with 40″ of pitch
  • We know that economy will have 140 seats, and will feature 33″ of pitch (two inches above the industry average), with a comfortable 3-3-3 layout
Qantas A350-1000 cabin basics

What we do know the details of is Qantas’ new A350 first class suite, plus a new onboard wellbeing zone. So let’s talk about those two things in a bit more detail.

New Qantas Airbus A350 first class suite

Qantas’ Airbus A350-1000s will each feature six first class suites, and will be a completely new product compared to what’s available on the Airbus A380. Here are some basic details of the new suites:

  • First class suites will feature both a seat and a separate bed, similar to what you’d find in Singapore Airlines’ A380 Suites
  • First class suites will have doors, though they’re not floor-to-ceiling like in Emirates’ new 777 first class, but rather it’s more of a shoulder-height privacy door
  • First class suites will feature plenty of storage, as you can place bags and belongings underneath the bed and ottoman, and there are also several storage compartments
  • First class suites will feature a 32″ television, a personal wardrobe, and a mirror
  • First class suites will feature tailored lighting, temperature, and humidification, for wellbeing

Below you can find some renderings of Qantas’ A350 first class suite, as well as a video.

Qantas Airbus A350 first class suite
Qantas Airbus A350 first class suite

What’s my initial impression of Qantas’ Airbus A350 first class suite?

  • This is a reasonably innovative product, and looks fairly good
  • This almost looks to me like a heavily modified Vantage XL seat; the seat itself may be similar to Malaysia Airlines’ A350 Business Suite, with a bed next to it as well
  • I just can’t help but feel like the space could be utilized much more efficiently, as the seat looks fairly narrow, as does the bed; why not instead create a zone where the entire suite could be turned into a massive bed, especially for a flight this long?
  • This won’t be ideal for those traveling together, since there won’t be a way to form a double suite, or anything along those lines (of course there are certain limitations that simply can’t be overcome, and this is one of those in a 1-1-1 configuration)
  • I’m sure award availability for this product will be virtually non-existent, or perhaps just blocked altogether; Qantas is stingy with premium award availability to begin with, and I imagine that’ll be taken to the extreme on the A350

New Qantas Airbus A350 wellbeing zone

While Qantas’ A350 won’t feature a bar or showers, the plane will have what’s described as a wellbeing zone, which will be located between premium economy and economy. Presumably this will be open to all passengers. It’s not entirely clear what purpose this is supposed to serve, based on the renderings.

It seems that this is designed for people to be able to stretch or grab a drink or snack from a self-serve bar, but it doesn’t seem like there will be much to it beyond that. It doesn’t look like there’s room for yoga, or any other sort of activity.

Qantas Airbus A350 wellbeing zone
Qantas Airbus A350 wellbeing zone

What’s my initial impression of Qantas’ Airbus A350 wellbeing zone?

  • Ultimately this seems more about keeping the weight of the A350 down than anything else
  • The wellbeing zone is in an area where there’s an emergency exit, so I assume this will be in place of a galley, in an area where there couldn’t otherwise practically be seats
  • I suspect this will ultimately be a nothingburger; it’s essentially a walk-up bar area, and there’s nothing in the rendering that suggests there will be more to it than that
  • Even if there were some substance to this, realistically sharing such a zone with up to 237 other passengers limits how much value each passenger could get out of it

Bottom line

Qantas has placed an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s, which will be used to operate the world’s longest flights starting in 2025. It’s pretty incredible to think that a nonstop New York to Sydney flight will become a reality.

As far as the interiors of these planes go, they’ll be very sparely configured, both to woo premium travelers, and to keep the aircraft weight down. While details are limited as of now, we can expect new first class suites, plus a wellbeing zone.

The new first class suites are certainly unique, but I just feel like space could be utilized better to make a more comfortable environment for such a long journey. The bed doesn’t look particularly comfortable or spacious to me. Meanwhile the wellbeing zone seems to just be a self-serve snack and drink bar, unless I’m missing something.

What do you make of Qantas’ A350 interiors?

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  1. Ron Yap Guest

    Would there be any belts for the seat and the bed. It may keep the guests safely secured in bad weather.

  2. Ron Guest

    I agree with most comments made on the board. Obviously, the number one priority is weight and the second is passenger comfort.

    20 hours is one mother of a flight, the communal area isn't a game-changer given the current design. A350-1000 is an attempt to match the dreamliner of which I'm not a big fan.

    A380 is still the best plane for long haul travel for passenger comport, if they could make the...

    I agree with most comments made on the board. Obviously, the number one priority is weight and the second is passenger comfort.

    20 hours is one mother of a flight, the communal area isn't a game-changer given the current design. A350-1000 is an attempt to match the dreamliner of which I'm not a big fan.

    A380 is still the best plane for long haul travel for passenger comport, if they could make the A380 travel the same distance and add lounge-type communal areas on the second level then this would be a game changer for super long haul flights.

  3. KATA Member

    Having flown First (now Business Suite) on Malaysia Airlines, I frankly thought the Vantage First seat isn't as bad as people make it out to be.

    1. Yanfei Guest

      Although MH F seemed to be narrow, it fits me quite well and I can stretch my leg freely when sleeping without being restricted to a limited footwell, comparing to what providing by SQ 777 first class (shame on you).

  4. JOHN Guest

    To me it looks like there are 2 wellness zones as there is a large space between the first and second business class cabins which is just empty space. Would assume this is for first and business and the second one is for premium economy and economy.

    I agree with the comment that getting a classic reward seat in first or business on any of these flights will be virtually impossible. The only real...

    To me it looks like there are 2 wellness zones as there is a large space between the first and second business class cabins which is just empty space. Would assume this is for first and business and the second one is for premium economy and economy.

    I agree with the comment that getting a classic reward seat in first or business on any of these flights will be virtually impossible. The only real use for Qantas points for premium cabins out of Australia is flights on other airlines in the one world alliance. Very easy to get JAL, CX, QR, MH which is a shame.

  5. Pogonation Guest

    The F seat in the pictures looks like it will turn into one large bed. The level of the ottoman and the seat cushion are at the same level as the bed and with the armrest being retractable, I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t recline to make one big bed. If it doesn’t then they have really missed a trick!

    Bed width in F has always been the most important thing to me as I...

    The F seat in the pictures looks like it will turn into one large bed. The level of the ottoman and the seat cushion are at the same level as the bed and with the armrest being retractable, I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t recline to make one big bed. If it doesn’t then they have really missed a trick!

    Bed width in F has always been the most important thing to me as I like to spread out.. it always bothers me when airlines put nearly 1-2 feet of console space next to the F seat (a la MH F, TG F, BA F etc).. Just make the seat bigger in order to have a huge bed and have decent sized overhead bins for storage!

  6. Crosscourt Guest

    There's been no comment on the lack of windows to look out from.

    1. twoclicks Guest

      I really assumed the seat could be laid flat to create an enormous bed — if not that does seem like a loss to me.

    2. Fin Guest

      Maybe they will have windows behind that blind/curtain, and the middle seats/suites will have cameras like on the Emirates 777s. It would make sense, since that is the only other First Class Cabin with 1-1-1 seating that I know of, therefore it would be the benchmark that other airlines would strive to achieve.

  7. Alian Guest

    The seat looks like it could fold down to provide a full cabin width bed. That would be an interest option and looks feasible. Hope it’s something they considered

  8. Sam Guest

    Suite looks very tight in my view. Given the footprint of the suite, I think they would have been better off with a traditional design of a seat that converts to a bed. Would have been a larger, more luxurious feeling seat and bed. I would imagine that this takes up more square footage than the new EK 777 suite, however, I would pick that one over this any day.

  9. RF Diamond

    Not great for traveling with someone. No double suite option and no dine-together setup either? It would be nice if the seat can be used to increase the size of the bed.

    1. RF Diamond

      Also, what is climate control going to really do without a fully enclosed suite?

  10. Alonzo Diamond

    If there isn't going to be award availability in first class, then I don't care very much honestly. That being said, the suite looks tighter than a grandmothers Christmas sweater.

  11. Dick Bupkiss Guest

    The so-called well being zone is going to be a complete cluster. As soon as (probably before) the seat-belt sign goes off on climbout, passengers are going to sprint to that space, struggle over squeezing into a spot, and then when the music stops, camp out there. It will get crowded, loud, and it'll stay that way as passengers seek to get out of cramped coach seats on these 20 hour flights. Gonna be some...

    The so-called well being zone is going to be a complete cluster. As soon as (probably before) the seat-belt sign goes off on climbout, passengers are going to sprint to that space, struggle over squeezing into a spot, and then when the music stops, camp out there. It will get crowded, loud, and it'll stay that way as passengers seek to get out of cramped coach seats on these 20 hour flights. Gonna be some drama there as fights over the coveted extra space break out. I bet the flight attendants are so looking forward to acting as lounge cops and referees there. Look forward to the YouTube videos.

    1. Ed Guest

      This is exactly how my first ever experience of Qantas was. LHR-SIN I snagged an exit row, somewhat surprisingly, I thought they would be in demand. Little did I know that the space in front of the door would be full of loud Aussies with illicit tinnies, a 14 hour Essendon backyard barbecue.

      (Now my compatriots, I love you all, but FFS, inside voices, people)

    2. DG Guest

      What if they did the following for a 20 hour flight:
      - 1 HR during accent and decent not available
      - 2 HRS before landing Biz and First passengers only (I predict take up would be relatively low)
      - 16 remaining hours allocated as 45 mins per row for PE and Economy. Max 9 (but realistically 5-7 passengers) for each interval and therefore a genuine value add

    3. Grant Crawford Guest

      So this is a bad idea because people will use it?

  12. Morgan Diamond

    I actually think both the first class and the well being zone look good, the finishes on the first seat look really good and as long as the bed is comfortable then I like the idea. I love the well being zone as ben you probably don't know this but when I fly long haul economy which is about half of the time having a dedicated area to stretch will be a godsend. Also in...

    I actually think both the first class and the well being zone look good, the finishes on the first seat look really good and as long as the bed is comfortable then I like the idea. I love the well being zone as ben you probably don't know this but when I fly long haul economy which is about half of the time having a dedicated area to stretch will be a godsend. Also in terms of the being with another person I assume you will be able to use the foot rest as a buddy seat and dine together as QF already do this on their A380 first.

  13. Daniel Goodfellow Guest

    Qantas is really good at announcing things like this with a few features up their sleeve (ie kept back) for future media hits. It seems to me that the seat in the F suite likely also goes fully flat, creating the first true double bed in the sky (no join ridge) - this would be amazing.

  14. Ken Guest

    Jeez on the well-being zone… does the thought of them making something available to us lowly economy fliers tick you off that much?

    1. DCAWABN Guest

      That was my thought, too. If you've ever done any butt-in-seat time to earn status, you are very aware of how uncomfortable it can get, especially from California to Europe or, say, London to Sydney. It's one thing to take a quick stroll to the lav, dodging other pax and FAs and food trolleys, but it's quite another to have a dedicated space where you can stretch out and enjoy a bit more room. I...

      That was my thought, too. If you've ever done any butt-in-seat time to earn status, you are very aware of how uncomfortable it can get, especially from California to Europe or, say, London to Sydney. It's one thing to take a quick stroll to the lav, dodging other pax and FAs and food trolleys, but it's quite another to have a dedicated space where you can stretch out and enjoy a bit more room. I quite enjoy the thought of this and would have loved it back in my TPAC Y days.

    2. Brendan Guest

      Still won't be flying qantas

    3. Jordan Gold

      That's not what Ben is saying. As of now, we have little info available to understand this space.

      It looks to me like just space by the door, where a toilet would've been and FA seat. The FA touchscreen above is now the exercise screen. It's not much, but we will see.

  15. Steven E Guest

    I think it looks good in the initial renderings and being premium heavy I’m sure it will be full most of the time, points upgrade at present is through the roof as people have saved considerable points over the past two years - I’m sure this will continue

  16. Christian Guest

    As Sam A said...this reminds me of the LH 747 First Class with a door.

  17. Tom Guest

    When I watch the video it appears that the bed is slightly angled. Am I imagining that? Certainly they wouldn't do that in a brand new first class product...would they?

    1. John.S Guest

      It's angled so that during cruise the bed is actually flat as modern a/c pitch at 1-2 degrees to maintain altitude (basic aerodynamics), so a flat seat would actually tilt up (assuming sleeping with legs forward of head) and be slightly uncomfortable.

  18. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Looking at the YouTube rendering it looks like the armrest between the seat and bed could be lowered and the leg rests on the chair raised to make a larger bed ( not double ) but will give extra space if indeed it does.

  19. Sam A Guest

    Initially not my favourite design, reminds me of the old LH 747 but modern and with a door - however a separate bed and seat do make sense considering the length of flight and that perhaps you'll want to sleep twice which would be a headache for cabin crew if they needed to make and tear-down a bed multiple times per passenger during the flight.

    After 20 hours though I sure wish they put in a shower...

    1. reddargon Diamond

      I'm sure a shower would require a decent amount of extra water to be carried on board which would add to the weight. That, the idea that one needs to shower so frequently that they can't go 20 hours without one is a little amusing.

    2. Sam A Guest

      Fair point on the weight. I don’t think the benefit of the shower is the deodorising (that certainly some people could use) as much as you can walk off the aircraft straight to appointments - which anyone paying a premium to save 4-6 hours is probably interested in. With the Emirates one, being able to shower and go straight to a meeting or restaurant is a big benefit.

    3. reddargon Diamond

      Fair enough. My tolerance for going without a shower for a day must just be higher than others, but this makes sense. I'm sure there's an arrivals lounge you could use though.

    4. Levi Gold

      Giving back an hour (tops) of the 4-6 hours you paid a premium to save is a nothingburger.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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John.S Guest

It's angled so that during cruise the bed is actually flat as modern a/c pitch at 1-2 degrees to maintain altitude (basic aerodynamics), so a flat seat would actually tilt up (assuming sleeping with legs forward of head) and be slightly uncomfortable.

5
RF Diamond

Also, what is climate control going to really do without a fully enclosed suite?

2
Ken Guest

Jeez on the well-being zone… does the thought of them making something available to us lowly economy fliers tick you off that much?

2
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