Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, has announced a multi-billion-dollar order of new aircraft that will connect east-coast Australia to London and New York from 2025.
The order, which includes 12 A350-1000s, will feature 6 first-class enclosed suites with separate bed, wardrobe and storage area. They each have 32-inch TV screens, a mirror and self-controlled lighting, temperature and humidity. Menus are designed by Neil Perry.
“Our new first class … will be the best, I believe, first class product,” – Joyce.
These new aircraft will have a self-service snack station and hydration bar plus a ‘wellbeing zone’ located between economy and premium economy. These areas will have space to stretch and provide in-wall screens with suggested exercises to follow on these extensive flights.
Premium economy and economy will both get larger seats – the biggest seat pitch of any previous QF economy product. The average economy and premium economy seat pitches are 30-31 inches and 38 inches respectively, these new jets will have 33 inches in economy and a 40-inch pitch in premium.
“The most luxurious aircraft that’s ever been created” – Joyce
These new long-haul jets can seat 238 passengers across the four cabins. First class will have 6 suites, there will be 52 seats in business class, 40 in premium economy and 140 in economy. The domestic fleet of Boeing 737s will start to be replaced from late 2023 with 40 new A321XLRs and A220s.
We also love that these new Airbus planes are powered by Rolls-Royce engines which are 25 per cent more fuel efficient than their previous jets.
Joyce mentioned during the announcement that departures from Melbourne and other cities were on the cards as more destinations were added. He stated that these new planes would pay for themselves due to the increased demand for faster travel with stopovers removed.
Titled ‘Project Sunrise’, this has been five years in the making for QF with Covid putting a halt on its originally planned launch for 2023. However, with domestic travel demand returning much faster than expected, the group is on course to become profitable again in the 2023 financial year, giving Joyce the confidence to restart this significant order.