Qantas reveals new A350 first class suites for Project Sunrise

High flyers will be cocooned in luxury aboard the Qantas A350, with a new First Suite dialling up the inflight indulgence.

By David Flynn, May 2 2022
Qantas reveals new A350 first class suites for Project Sunrise

Travellers setting out on non-stop Qantas project Sunrise flights from Sydney or Melbourne to London or New York will find no better place to spend their time than in the airline's next-generation A350 first class suites.

And were talking about a lot of time: anywhere from 18-20 hours. So do these bespoke Project Sunrise suites have what it takes?

The 12 ultra-long range A350s will be crowned by six First suites, in a two-row 1-1-1 configuration.

Enveloped by high walls, the Qantas A350 First Suites are intended to be a private sanctuary.
Enveloped by high walls, the Qantas A350 First Suites are intended to be a private sanctuary.

Each Qantas A350 first class suite is enclosed in a high wall with a sliding privacy door, compared to the open suite design of the Qantas A380s.

These top-tier sanctuaries boast a separate armchair and bed, rather than a seat which converts into a bed – a situation demanding compromises in both modes.

The latest Qantas First Suite features a separate bed and armchair.
The latest Qantas First Suite features a separate bed and armchair.

Its not a new concept: Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines both made the same choice on their respective Airbus A380s, and the idea even stretches back to Lufthansas older Boeing 747 first class.

The A380 first class suites of Singapore Airlines (left) and Etihad Airways (right).
The A380 first class suites of Singapore Airlines (left) and Etihad Airways (right).

The Qantas A350 First Suites seems to make no allowance for dining for two, although perhaps guests can perch themselves on the ottoman across from the armchair.

Storage-wise, there's a place for everything and everything in its place.
Storage-wise, there's a place for everything and everything in its place.

And unlike some other first class and even business class suites these days, there is no option to open a divider between adjacent suites if youre flying with your partner.

The 32” HD video screen will be packed with enough movies and boxed-set TV series to help pass the interminable hours (in 18 hours, you could watch The Lord of The Rings trilogy twice over).

The Qantas A350 First Suite features a full-length wardrobe and cabinet with mirror.
The Qantas A350 First Suite features a full-length wardrobe and cabinet with mirror.

Clearly, Qantas has put plenty of thought into helping first class flyers settle into this cosy crib: a carry-on bag can be nestled into the space below the ottoman...

There's no need for overhead lockers, with ample ground-level storage.
There's no need for overhead lockers, with ample ground-level storage.

... with a large fold-out storage bin beneath the display for your backpack or laptop bag...

... while the ottoman itself conceals a handy shoe drawer.

Next to the 32 screen is an integrated shelving unit for amenity kits and the like, with a mirror on the inside of the door.

A toiletries cabinet with mirror is at hand when you need to freshen up.
A toiletries cabinet with mirror is at hand when you need to freshen up.

Another creature comfort is the personal wardrobe built into the wall panelling, where passengers can hang not just their jacket but their clothes, once theyve slipped into the supplied Martin Grant pyjamas.

Hang your coat and slide it out of sight.
Hang your coat and slide it out of sight.

A laptop holder is easily accessible in the armrest next to the chair; above this is an iPad which acts as your master control panel for all the suites functions and settings.

That includes not only the lighting but, Qantas says, suite temperature and humidity levels, as part of the Project Sunrise A350 inflight wellness program.

The separate bed will be a welcome addition for the 18-20 hour marathons.
The separate bed will be a welcome addition for the 18-20 hour marathons.

However, it’s not immediately clear if those long illuminated wall panels will actually be windows – through which guests can watch the double sunrise for which Project Sunrise was named – and if so, how travellers in the middle suites will enjoy a similar view.

The concept illustrations are based on what appears to be a middle suite in the second row (seat numbr 2D), so perhaps this honeycomb-patterened panel features only in the two middle suites, with windows for the other four suites. Time will certainly tell.

Executive Traveller will bring you more details on the new Qantas Project Sunrise A350 first class suites – along with the seats behind first class cabin – in the coming months.

Additional reporting by Chris Ashton

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2016

Total posts 51

Would be good to see a picture of the new business class seats

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 82

I think Joycey is a bit over zealous , only sydney siders will take up the 20 hour direct schlep. The remainder of Aussies will still prefer to fly via Singapore or Hong Kong or KL etc etc and expereince some "culture" on the stopover. That's a tradition for Aussie travellers, Joycey being and Irishman will never understand that. He thinks saving and hour is worth a billion investment, I pity the poor future Qantas CEO who has to deal with this basket case Sydney Centric decision. All people please have a thought for the poor staffer at Heathrow who has to open the door after 20 hours of 400 pax farting and coughing. :)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 569

I'm no Joyce-junkie nor Qantas-junkie, but I suspect these newer planes will have air conditioning and HEPA filtration.  After all, Airbus pitched their product purposely for the ultra long haul.  Time will tell.  

As to pax preferences, understand your point, but I suspect pax flying to NYC or LHR are wanting to get there as quickly as possible.  Who in their right mind would want to even transit airside through Hong Kong at the moment? With good reason, SG and KL are destinations in their own right and already serviced by cheaper carriers.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 82

Exactly Boeing Tragic, I will keep enjoying the authentic Business Class service on MAS to UK instead.  No pony tailed chefs meals or designer glassware. Each to our own.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Jun 2019

Total posts 10

Agreed, flying on Qantas metal is an absolute last resort....

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 323

Ive flow A350 twice, and twice too many.  For all the defects of the Boeing Dreamliner, the air is much better and it is quieter on the 789 or 787-10, at the front of the plane and near the engines.  Frankly who would want to sit in a pressurised tube full of stale air for 20 hours, and from my experiences flying mostly First, sometimes Business when First isnt available, you still feel like death warmed up at your final destination.  Hence the need for a stop (s) ay Ground Zero for some normal food, normal pressure and hopefully fresh air (if you are flying Swiss / Star Alliance LAX and can go into the outdoor areas within the Lounges).  Hey even air con air at sea level is better than airplane air, even discounting COVID which is here to stay for quite some time

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Mar 2017

Total posts 16

Someone didn’t read the article, or didn't comprehend it. 

Custom-designed to tackle the 18-20 hour marathons, the A350 will carry 238 passengers across four classes (First, Business, Premium Economy, and Economy). 

Yup, great if you are in Sydney and need those two specific destinations.

Otherwise it's a transfer in SYD (the worst) , a domestic leg (hmmm), and a higher price (boo).

Or you can fly Brisbane / Melbourne via Singapore, transfer in Changi, have significantly more destination options, a cheaper price, and probably the same flight time. Plus added stop over if desired.

*thinking emoji*

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Jun 2019

Total posts 10

Agreed, Joyce has no idea how to run a business - except to how to benefit his pocket thru cost slashing boosting his bonuses. Because of incompetent fleet planning, Staff are currently sleeping across seats in old and unsuitable A330's on the way to the US... Customers still can't achieve simple tasks on the Qantas website and it's "our fault" if we ring the call centres, wait 6 hrs and then be hung up on by an agent in Africa or Fiji whole hasn't got a clue about what they're doing. And don't worry about those 9 mth outstanding refunds your still waiting for - Qantas is using YOUR money as working capital to make more bonus cash for Joyce. This marketing spin doesn't impress anyone except the fan boys - the A350's should have been ordered years ago along with B747 replacements for the USA and other new routes. I use Qantas points for free rides overseas but I fly their metal only as a last resort...

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 779

@Vegolactoovoglutenfree It seems the truth you write hurts the Qantas Loyalist and Qantas Staff knocking your truth, I actually like the run from one gate to another in another country to keep the leg muscles going. Whether it was Perth or a direct flight from Sydney, I would prefer a stop over in Asia going to Europe.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 82

Yes so true getting the legs pumping between lounges at HKIA and terminals at KLIA will always be part of the journey for me!! 

20 Jan 2017

Total posts 4

You must be kidding - NO windows in first on an 18 hr journey? Looks like solitary confinement albeit beautiful suites. I think my body clock would enjoy some sunlight. Etihad suites had up to 3 windows.

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 103

I'm kind of thinking this render is of the middle suite which doesn't have windows. I very much doubt they would not have windows as people might find it to claustrophobic and you do need natural light in the cabin.

Also another big reason why they will have windows is that its more than likely a violation of safety requirements as windows are needed incase of any evacuation, staff and passenger do need be able to view the outside of the aircraft to check if there is any obstructions. Having a whole area blocked off from outside views would be a big no no.

The seat, although not the most extravagant first class seat, is at least a cut above Business and the choice of a separate bed is a good idea as most convertible seat are a compromise between a good bed and a good seat.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 114

Looks good - lets just hope AJ gives us the deserved legroom for the flights of this magnitude. Yes an earlier article advises PE increasing pitch from 38 currently in the 787 to 42 in the A350, but in all seriousness, 42 should have been the original pitch in the 787 when first released. Lets look at at least 48 for PE A350 to make up for the 20-30% flight premium being charged, especially given how tight the cabin sizes are in these aircraft.

Sometimes economics and micro management on paper doesn't always balance out in reality and passengers will compare other products and vote with their wallets. Keep it fair QF and supply a product passengers will look forward to experiencing and the magic may just work, There is still time to make adjustments - 3 yrs in fact.

Really - PE 8 across and Y 9 across - not much of an improvement in my book.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 569

Good point.  Now that Qantas have upped he ante with this service, expect other to copy and improve their product.  If the Qantas metal feels too cramped at 42 for such a long flight (which it would for me), with demand for these sectors created by Qantas, others will do what you suggest, Traveller90.  

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 323

Copy this?   Really 1-1-1 F  with centre without any outside view, in a bad First Lounge with qually bad food and the stench of burning fish sauce... Some of us wil lstick to the tried and true Swiss, Cathay, Lufthansa, All Nippon  with immaculate ground and air services. And hey they still staff their First/Star Gold checkin counters

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

I think PE is now going to be 40" on A35K up from 38" on the 789 and A380.  42" was probably always a little optimistic.  I think VA was 41" on their 77Ws.

03 Sep 2018

Total posts 2

That's seat 2D in the video, which looks to have an artificial window due to it being in the middle of the cabin. I would be very surprised if real window seats didn't have real windows.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2017

Total posts 81

Oh no.  This is almost identical to what SQ introduced in 2008! Yes it is a marked improvement but wow to introduce such a product in 2025!  Just wait till you see what SQ are introducing as the next generation First class.  Lost opportunity Qantas

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 779

Jumping late, nothing beats the Singapore First  Class Suite when travelling together and joining both berths together. 

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1087

I see QF is targeting a 20-30% premium over one-stop alternatives for Sunrise flights.  In the premium cabins, I think this is very achievable, not so sure about Y which may be part of the reason SQ didn't even try on their ULR A359s.  If you say SYD-LHR-SYD is around $2K in Y on QF/EK (with cheaper alternatives available on MH, JL etc), then I wonder if a sticker price of around $2800 is getting a bit rich particularly as, at that point, you are not too far away from PE options if you shop around.  For example, China Airways excellent PE on their A350s can often be had for around $3400.

30 Apr 2022

Total posts 1

Do we know if Qantas is continuing to engage David Caon for these new suites? There seems to be no mention so far and he name is usually thrown around a lot when introducing design updates. Would be great to see a plane designed front to back by the same person. While the functionality and form of these seats might not be revolutionary, it is the QF style is what sets it apart from the likes of SQ and EY. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Mar 2018

Total posts 22

What QF style?

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 368

To all the nahsayers on this thread, QF would have done extensive research from regular high tier premium flyers on the UK/USA routes what was critically important to them for an ultra-long haul flight in an aircraft with less real estate than A380. And these photos are great but they are mock ups which mean changes can be made.

01 Apr 2017

Total posts 9

Love the artist impressions and a dedicated first suite. I do hope (it must) the final product will include dinning for two plus ability to join two first suites to create a double space like singapore airlines. Keen to see the business class offering as well. 

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 664

I hope there is good recline in the seat with a footrest- not just sit upright or lay flat in the bed. I love reclining while watching IFE.

22 Jul 2020

Total posts 4

For those hoping for joining suites, I'm pretty sure a 1-1-1 layout makes that a non-starter.

See Cathay for their take on the same - possibly the only other airline that does 1-1-1.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 323

Cathay has 6 First seats rather than 12  1A on Cathay First 777 is best because our aisle only allows access for 1A and 2A, the other 4 seats have to share their aisle. . So I wonder where Qantas will place the doors for middle seats?  This is quite crucial when you want to avoid  too much cabin traffic or Business Classers using First toilet (a bit like flying Qantas Domestic Business where its free for all for the Business Class single toilet, yet on Virgin Australia , Swiss, Lufthansa there is a definite allocation and barrier for toilet use

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 79

The overall impression is of a CRAMPED YOTEL version of the new SQ suites, also 6 in number, although I like the clean minimalist Nordic style (like the ANA new suites) and the fact that the sliding door will close completely (with no see through holes as on SQ).

It would be disappointing if the seat didn't recline to a comfortable position.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 323

Yes a bit like the non reclining seat of Ethihas First on the A380 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 26

I would not subject myself to such an ultra-long haul flight, 18-20 hour is just brutal, imho.

HOWEVER, it seems that there is indeed a market for such a service apparently. The Perth-London route, from my memory, seems to be quite in demand, so I expect similar demand for Project Sunrise.

Flying in Business or First may be ok on such routes, but I cannot imagine flying coach.

I would almost think that for such a long journey, the aircraft would mostly be exclusively PE and higher only.

Just my two cents.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Feb 2017

Total posts 14

Wait till Boom supersonic flights roll out @ the end of the decade & you’ll be halving flying time, apparently?! And what happens to Mr. Joyce’s ROI then? Boom will fly long routes in 1/2 the time in all BC config & supposedly @ BC prices. Although @ smaller no. of PAX (88) but who wouldn’t want to see the curvature of the Earth out your window flying @ 60,000FT! Admittedly they have a LOOONG way to go & the flight testing process to gain their air worthiness certification will be lengthy. So the timeline to 1st actual PAX flight will no doubt be delayed? But as an old Concorde fan, let’s hope Boom does in fact get off the ground!! 

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 323

Yes!  And United are already planning for them!  Now that's progress!!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Mar 2018

Total posts 22

Trouble is, if any one of the (likely small) windows pops at 60K feet, everyone's blood boils in about a minute, instant death, regardless of oxygen masks.  At 40k it doesn't.  (And yes, I have flown Concorde, so I was prepared to take the risk, as many people will with this, too.)

25 Oct 2019

Total posts 2

Some people here may need to move on from the "20 hours of stale air" argument. Airbus claim that the entire aircrafts' air is renewed about every 3 minutes with outside bleed air (non-bleed of course on the 787). The air on a modern aircraft is arguably "fresher" than any air you'll get in your own home or office building.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 323

It is  still recycled de moisturized air not a sea level or even 1  or 2km above sea level   Many of us will avoid such long flights and stick to some time on the ground, since many First and Business lounges have outdoor air, better food and time to move, so the comment we need to move on is superfluous.  We will simply not fly Qantas to JFK, and we haven't been doing so in the past anyway.  Plenty of other much better airlines to choose from.  we speak with our wallet.


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