Photos: Apple, Qantas designer Marc Newson's private Boeing jet

By David Flynn, May 30 2016
Photos: Apple, Qantas designer Marc Newson's private Boeing jet

If you're going to plonk down the mega-dollars for a private jet, why settle for an off-the-rack interior when you can have one of the world's foremost designers create a bespoke cabin?

Marc Newson – best known among the flying fraternity for his work on the Qantas Airbus A380, and now helping shape the next generation Apple Watch – added the interior of this Boeing business jet to his design portfolio, and the result is a slick first class fitout.

Newson undertook the job for a client of London-based private jet firm Freestream Aircraft on Boeing's model BBJ2 business jet.

This is based on the hugely popular Boeing 737-800 jet, which is the domestic workhorse of the Qantas fleet.

But you won't catch a Qantas jet like this when you're shuttling between Sydney and Melbourne!

However, regular Qantas travellers will quickly recognise some hallmark Newson touches – such as the circular ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures (as seen above), which appear on a significantly larger scale at the entrance to Qantas' Sydney first class lounge...

... while the honeycomb carpet is a familiar feature of the Sydney and Los Angeles first class lounges...

... as well as Qantas' invitation-only Chairman's Lounge cribs.

Photos: Inside the Qantas Chairman's Lounge 

The Newson-designed Boeing business jet cradles up to 19 passengers in VIP comfort, with casual seating areas...

... private reading nooks...

... and more formal working spaces, from this office above the clouds...

... to a sky-high boardroom.

Of course, the one room on a private jet that everybody wants to see is the master bedroom – and this one doesn't disappoint.

Nor does the en suite bathroom....

... which boasts a spacious shower...

... a padded bench where you can slip on your shoes (the bench doubles as a bathroom supplies storage unit)...

... and of course, is finished with Newson's own range of tapware.

From tip to tail, the private jet contains many of the small details in which Newson delights: such as this reading lamp in the master bedroom, which sits flush in the padded leather bedhead when not in use...

... the touch-sensitive controls and LED display built into each of these leather swivel armchairs (trimmed in orange, an oft-used colour on Newson's design palette)...

... and the large push-buttons which open and close the sliding pneumatic doors (although we're told you have to make your own Star Trek-style 'woosh' sound effects).

But who knows... maybe we'll see some of these touches appear on the Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner, to which we hear Newson will also be lending his unique design flair.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 230

Newson has obviously retained ownership of the design elements, and I'm no expert at the property rights of such a thing, but I'm surprised that Qantas would allow their signature look to be used for another commercial purpose.

Still it looks timeless and classic. Should prove very popular in a very niche market.


22 Oct 2012

Total posts 316

I like everything about it, except for those brown low-backed lounges.  They're probably as comfortable (not) as the ones in the QF A380s.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1501

And how many points I need to upgrade to one from discount economy ticket?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 216

Yep, this has Marc Newson written all over it.

Retro-modern in style. Uncomfortable in use.

Not a fan.

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 61

Hopefully he gets to update the 380's. They are looking out of date now with the competition getting their shiny new 350's. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 216

The A350's not an apples for apples competitor to the A380 in many respects, there are product configuration limitations on a single-level cabin, particularly in premium classes that require a lot of real estate within the aircraft. E.g. Large inflight bars and shower suites can't be financially justified on smaller aircraft, as you are unable to accommodate enough J and F pax to cover the cost (both operational + foregone-seats) of such facilities.

Qantas' A380 (introduced 2008) is likely to see a refurbishment in 2017/18, which would be in-line with the halfway point of it's operational lifespan.

Regarding a refurb, the official PR lines out of QF HQ at present is, "It is an acceptable, competitive product in the marketplace," (which is objectively not true, and most flyers know it), and "We have no current plans to refurbish the A380," (which typically is code for "we don't have a green light to announce anything yet").

If Newson could churn out a fit-out like his work on the A330 Suite, I would be impressed, but it's unlikely he's going to be able to offer direct aisle access from all seats without borrowing heavily from existing products.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1501

I never understand why people believe that new always better – it is not in many instances and well so often trusted, tried and proved is far better bet and especially so in aviation. Comfort inside has nothing to (or as very least very little to do) to aircraft itself – it depends what carrier fit inside rather than what materials wing made of. I am quite suspicious about all those plastic-fantastic planes like B787 or A350 – they do not operate such aircrafts for long enough yet to understand how safe and robust those technologies are. And it all been done NOT because they care about YOUR comfort, but because they like to minimize operation costs mainly fuel consumptions. However I fail to see that companies standing in the queue to pass those cost savings to customers – ticket price the same inside the same carrier does not matter what metal (or may be plastic?) you fly on.

FWIW IMHO A380 is ugliest ever passenger aircraft – no more than double-decked hangar with wings. B777 looks nice and proven to be safe supersized double engine aircraft. I like A340 and not so much A330 and I am not excited whatsoever about A350. A320 is nice small workhorse though. Among big birds I like 747-8 the most and it is really pity that Boeing lost their race to A380. Showers and bar? Come on! I easy trade all that perks for proper seat and will never look back.

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 3

What, is this plane porn?? Looks terribly "old".  Just shows he's run out of new ideas!

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

08 Aug 2014

Total posts 39

Oooer! Imagine being a bit (or a lot) pissed and having to navigate that carpet... It would zing back and forth at you underfoot - whoah!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 216


This is the carpet they already have installed in several Qantas lounges! I can attest that it's not the most... "navigable"... flooring surface after a hefty intake of G&T.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Photos: Apple, Qantas designer Marc Newson's private Boeing jet