Travel News

A Look at the New Suites and Seats for Qantas’ 20 Hour Flights from Sydney to London and New York

Written by Charlie

Check out the new Qantas first class suites that will be making the 20 hour journeys from Australia to NYC and London! Plus, a new special zone as well.

Yesterday, Qantas announced their order for 12 new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft that will give the airline the ability to fly the super long-haul routes of Sydney to New York and London. Now, we have a look at what the inside of these aircraft will look like for those that want this flight!

The New Qantas A350-1000 Aircraft to Make the 20 Hour Journeys

Codenamed “Project Sunrise”, this long-haul attempt is something that Qantas has been planning for for a while and had research flights for pre-Covid to test a variety of factors for such a journey. Now, that project is a little closer to reality as Qantas has placed this order for the aircraft necessary to make this type of route possible.

Before you get too excited (if spending 20 hours straight on a plane makes you excited!), this is not something that will be out before late 2025, according to Qantas. For now, what we have is Qantas’ plans and renders for this new design.

The new Qantas A350-1000 | Courtesy of Qantas

Making Economy a Bit More Bearable for 20 Hour Flights

Obviously, spending 20 hours in economy is something that would be difficult for anyone. I have done 14+ hour journeys (in fact, back to back 14 hour flights a number of years ago) and I know how difficult flying economy like that can be! To make it a little more bearable, Qantas is ensuring that their A350-1000s will have the least dense economy cabins of any in that aircraft type.

The Qantas Wellbeing Zone | Courtesy of Qantas

The plane will have capacity for 238 passengers but 40% of that is in premium seating (meaning first, business, and premium economy). They have also established for a “Wellbeing Zone” that will allow for what Qantas says is “movement, stretching, and hydration” which is definitely a good thing for people that are sitting upright for 20 hours. But, these new economy seats will come with 33 inch pitches which is a tick more than many airlines offer. They are also only doing 3 x 3 x 3 economy seating configuration.

The Wellbeing Zone | Courtesy of Qantas

The New Qantas First Class Suites

Of course, the area of the plane that will likely generate the most interest is the First Class cabin. Qantas has long had some great first class cabins but they are kicking it up a notch with their new First Class suites onboard the A350-1000.

There will only be six of these suites (in other words, good luck EVER being able to redeem partner miles for these seats!) and the suites include a separate bed as well as a “recliner lounge chair and personal wardrobe.” Qantas doesn’t have detailed renders available for their business class seats but they say it is a “next-generation Business suite” and I expect them to be very comfortable as well.

Here is the render of the new Qantas first class suite:

The new Qantas First Class Suite | Courtesy of Qantas

The new Qantas First Class Suite | Courtesy of Qantas

Bottom Line

For First Class passengers and maybe business class, taking a single long-haul from Australia to London or New York will certainly be more appealing than connecting through either Dubai or Los Angeles. But, for economy travel? I think there may be many passengers that may prefer to break such a journey up.

At the same time, I am sure that will be those that will like to save the time and just bite down on one long trip in such a well-designed cabin than something like a domestic-configured plane for the 5 hour journey from California to NYC at the end of an already long trip.

Either way, it is great to see this new development and now we just have a little more than 3 years to wait! I’m sure I will be one of the many people hoping to snag that elusive one or two seats in a year that will be available for partner miles in first class! 🙂

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

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