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Qantas Plans For An Ultra-Long-Haul Future

Qantas has been surveying passengers as they disembark from the airline’s direct London to Perth services to capture their experience, suggestions and feedback.

The new research, captured in late 2018 in conjunction with Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre, is being conducted as Qantas prepares for what it considers the final frontier of global commercial air travel—non-stop flights from Australia’s east coast to New York and London expected to start from 2022.

Boeing 777X aircraft sketches. Source: Boeing.

The results?

Health and wellness are the top trends coming through the research, with a strong focus on mindfulness and “separation of experience” at different stages of a long-haul flight.

Stationary exercise bikes and virtual reality relaxation and entertainment are among several innovations Qantas customers have also suggested.

Visions of long haul travel then and now.

David Caon, Qantas Industrial Designer, said Project Sunrise is pushing not just the boundaries of distance, but also product innovation.

“Customers are sharing some incredibly imaginative ideas, which is an exciting challenge and helps us to think outside of the box to redefine the ultra-long-haul experience,” he said.

Boeing’s 777X with its unique folding wingtips.

So what were the five most frequent Project Sunrise suggestions from customers?

  • Provide “sense of separation” experiences where passengers can be social but then “zone out” with either virtual reality relaxation zones, audio mindfulness experiences, or through the broader in-flight entertainment.
  • Spaces to do gentle exercise/stretches, promoting circulation and comfort.
  • Wireless, noise cancelling headsets.
  • Innovative cabin designs across the entire aircraft, considering both seat and non-seat spaces to focus on a broad range of traveller needs including comfort, sleep, dining, entertainment and state of mind.
  • An in-flight cafe offering both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages including wine, fresh juices, herbal teas and tisanes and mocktails along with snacks including dips with vegetable sticks as well as “treat foods”.

Qantas’ Boeing 787 Dreamliners currently operate Perth to London non-stop flights.

“With the major aircraft manufacturers really pushing the ultra-long-haul envelope, the rapidly approaching future of flight looks exciting. Heightened levels of comfort and amenities will be essential as passengers weigh up the convenience vs comfort equation of ultra-long-non-stop flights”, says The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

“Time is really valuable to our clients. The premium will they be prepared to pay for a shorter journey time remains to be seen. For airlines, cabin space is finite, they have to make it work really hard. The economics of this are fascinating”, adds Hosper.

Premium seating concept sketches for Boeing’s 777X aircraft.

CEO Qantas International Alison Webster said the new research is showing increased interest towards physical well-being, state of mind and personal time and space.

“Customer feedback from the Perth to London flight has exceeded expectations. The engagement and enthusiasm we’re seeing from this research highlights how passionate our customers are to be a part of the evolution of ultra-long-haul travel.

“Everything is on the table and we are excited about what innovations may come from this research”, said Ms Webster.

Qantas is expected to make an announcement around Project Sunrise later in 2019, including which aircraft type it would operate, with both the Boeing 777X and the Airbus A350 under consideration.

What would you like to see on an ultra-long-haul aircraft?

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New Overnight Qantas Service To Hong Kong

Qantas has re-timed one of its two daily flights from Sydney to Hong Kong from 31 March 2019, offering customers the choice of a midday or evening departure from Sydney.

From 31 March, Qantas’ Airbus A330 operated evening (9.20pm) departure from Sydney will arrive in Hong Kong 5.00am local time.

QF117 will operate overnight and arrive into Hong Kong in the morning, providing more options for onward connections to other destinations in Asia, including those operated by Qantas’ new codeshare partner Cathay Pacific.

Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said the changes reinforced the airline’s commitment to Hong Kong.

“Hong Kong is an incredibly important market for Qantas and we continue to see strong demand from premium and corporate travellers,” said Ms Webster.

The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper, agrees.

“This is a smart move from Qantas”, said Hosper.

“We expect the new overnight Qantas service to be popular with many of our corporate clients looking for an early morning connection through Hong Kong to other parts of Asia”, Hosper added.

Qantas’ return service on QF118 departs Hong Kong daily at 10.35pm, arriving back into Sydney at 10.00am.

Qantas operates 28 flights per week to Hong Kong from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

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Qantas Is Returning To Fiji

After a hiatus of nearly 20 years, Qantas liveried aircraft will return to Fijian skies from 31 March 2019—the airline stating that its new services meet a growing demand from travellers wanting a premium travel option to the islands.

The new direct service to Nadi will be operated by Boeing 737 aircraft four times per week, offering checked baggage allowance, in-flight entertainment, food and drinks as part of the fare.

Qantas Economy Class cabin on Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

“We’re delighted to see Qantas’ full-service offering on routes to Fiji again”, says The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

“Being able to offer the option of Qantas business class to holidaying leisure travellers is very appealing to us. We know plenty of our clients will take it up”, added Hosper.

Qantas 737-800 Business Class cabin.

Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said the addition of Fiji to the Qantas network provided more choice for the growing number of Australians wanting to holiday on the islands.

“Fiji continues to be an incredibly popular holiday destination for Australian families, couples and adventure and luxury travellers, with a number of new luxury properties having opened up on the islands in recent years,” said Ms Webster.

The new Qantas flights are subject to government and regulatory approvals. Once approved, they will add to Jetstar’s direct services which also operate four times per week, and will see the Qantas Group of airlines offer travellers more than 75,000 seats on the route each year and the choice to fly to fiji six days a week.

Qantas will also add its code to Jetstar’s flights between Sydney and Nadi, for travel from 1 February 2019. Qantas customers travelling on the Jetstar codeshare service will enjoy additional benefits, including the opportunity for Qantas Frequent Flyers to earn points and status credits and a complimentary meal.

“We have built flexibility into our network to respond to growing demand where we see it. In this case, it’s a return to Fiji after almost 20 years, a short four-hour hop from Sydney” said Qantas International CEO, Alison Webster.

“The combination of Qantas and Jetstar also means we can provide more options to a destination which caters to different budgets and tastes, with good interstate connections for passengers travelling from other parts of Australia”, added Ms Webster.

Qantas’ Sydney-Nadi (Fiji) schedule effective 31 March 2019:


^Times above are local.
~ 1 hour earlier in ADST.

Qantas will also continue to codeshare on Fiji Airways’ services to Nadi. With Fiji Airways now integrated as a oneworld connect partner, Qantas customers will benefit from more flight options and the opportunity to earn and redeem Qantas Points and Status Credits on Fiji Airways’ services between the two countries.

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New Cathay Pacific-QANTAS Codeshare Agreement

Cathay Pacific and Qantas flyers will benefit from a new codeshare agreement that leverages the strengths of each carrier’s regional networks.

Subject to regulatory approval, the agreement will see Qantas add its code to Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon services from Hong Kong to 10 cities across India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and on Cathay Pacific’s long-haul services from Hong Kong to Perth and Cairns.

In turn, Cathay Pacific will add its code to 13 routes on Qantas’ domestic network in Australia.

“This new agreement will be great for those who travel through Hong Kong on the Cathay Pacific network”, says The Travel Authority Group’s Managing Director, Peter Hosper.

Qantas Frequent Flyer members will be able to earn more Qantas Points and status credits when travelling on the Qantas-coded flights. Similarly, Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club members will earn more Club Points when travelling on Cathay Pacific-coded flights.

Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said the new codeshare agreement was part of Qantas’ strategy of operating to key global hubs and providing customers with access to an expanded network with airline partners based in those ports.

“This new codeshare partnership also forms part of our growth strategy for the broader Asia region, with strong demand for travel between Australia and Asia. It’s good news for Qantas customers who will have more travel options, greater opportunities to earn frequent flyer points, and a premium experience onboard both home carriers”, said Webster.

Cathay Pacific and Qantas together operate more than 100 services a week between Hong Kong and Australia. As oneworld alliance partners, eligible flyers will continue to enjoy access to both Cathay Pacific and Qantas lounges in Australia and Hong Kong, as well as other oneworld associated lounges across both airlines’ networks.

Tickets for the codeshare services will be available for sale from 22 October 2018, for travel from 28 October 2018.

For more information, simply leave us a note in the form below, or CALL US to discuss your specific requirements.

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