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QANTAS: Reveals the rest of A350 Project Sunrise cabins – Premium Economy & ‘Wellbeing’

QANTAS: Reveals the rest of A350 Project Sunrise cabins – Premium Economy & ‘Wellbeing’

Qantas has already revealed its Business and First Cabins on the super long haul Airbus A350’s ordered for the Sunrise Project. Now we see the newly designed Premium Economy, which includes headrest ‘wings’ at head height, and the elimination of the ‘feet basket’, replaced by a more traditional calf support extension, and foot-rest ‘bar’ from under the seat in front.

Project Sunrise Premium Economy seating [Qantas]
Project Sunrise Premium Economy seating [Qantas]

Project Sunrise A350 Seating

The A350’s will have 40 Premium Economy seats with 40 inch pitch in a 2-4-2 arrangement over five rows, joining 140 regular Economy seats (33″ pitch), 52 Business Suites with sliding doors, and six First Class Suites. That all adds up to a cabin for 238 passengers on these proposed 22 hour nonstop flights between Australia and virtually anywhere in the world.

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

Designer, David Caon
Project Sunrise 'Wellbeing' refreshment area [Qantas]
Project Sunrise ‘Wellbeing’ refreshment area [Qantas]

Wellbeing – didn’t we used to call that a bar?

Qantas has opted for a purpose designed ‘Wellbeing’ area which it is claiming as a world first. Don’t other airlines have something similar that they serve drinks in and call it a Bar? Sorry, that’s a bit gratuitous. I digress. This will sit between Economy and Premium for access by both cabins. This zone will have stretch handles, a guided on-screen exercise program, and an area for self serve refreshments.

The space also doesn’t look that big . Maybe slightly bigger than the area that the airline needs to allow for safety purposes around the exit. It is as wide as the cabin though.


Passengers will have access to free WiFi that Qantas is promising will be fast. Cabins will also offer Bluetooth connectivity enabling passengers to connect their personal headset to their seat mountedl inflight entertainment screen.

You won’t be getting any actualy power points, but every seat in all cabins has multiple fast USB-C charging ports. Premium seats will have integrated wireless charging.  

“The Premium Economy cabin has been redesigned from the ground up with a focus on ergonomics, entertainment and privacy.”    

“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.”   

Designer David Caon
Project Sunrise 'Wellbeing' area [Qantas]
Project Sunrise ‘Wellbeing’ area [Qantas]

2PAXfly Takeout

The look of all these cabins feels coordinated, light a nd fresh. All the long awaited connectivity improvements are to be applauded (finally!), and the additional leg room and pitch is going to be a necessity on these ultra long haul flights.

On the Wellbeing area, I reserve judgement. It’s not that I think it is a bad idea, but I’m just not sure that it will be used for the purpose it is designed. What’s to stop passengers taking their drinks and turning it into a party space?

These all look like decent improvements to the Premium Economy cabins, and a good alternative if you can’t get a Business or First seat. Nothing will eleviate the 22 hours of hell in economy, I don’t care how long designer David Caon has spent ‘experiencing’ it on long-haul.

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