Dare We Say the World’s Longest Flight Looks Rather Comfy?

The upcoming Project Sunrise routes from Qantas will soon "make any city just one flight away from Australia," according to CEO Alan Joyce

The first-class suites on Qantas's new "Project Sunrise" flights, which are scheduled to launch in 2025 and connect any major city to Australia in one direct flight
First-class suites on Qantas's new "Project Sunrise" flights, launching in 2025.

After spending a few years developing a plan for the world’s longest commercial flight, Qantas just officially announced an order for a dozen Airbus A350-1000 planes, which are capable of flying direct from Australia to New York, London or any other major city.

Based on their initial seating plans for these flights (dubbed Project Sunrise), the journey sounds almost delightful, even if the flights take 20-plus hours.

Each flight will carry 238 passengers, or far less than the more than 300-seat configurations offered on other long-distance flights — partially for comfort reasons, but also to cut down on weight. More than 40% of the cabin will be dedicated to premium seating (First, Business and Premium Economy). And wow, those premium seats look nice.

Take the six First Class seats, arranged in a 1-1-1 layout (two rows, three seats per row). Each suite includes both a seat and a bed, along with a 32-inch screen and a closet. Business-class “suites” will feature lie-flat beds and possibly doors.

Meanwhile, even those stuck in the back will have some level of comfort, including a “well-being zone” in the center of the plane for stretching, and expanded seating arrangements that include a 40-inch pitch in Premium Economy and 33-inch in Economy (a bit higher than the usual Qantas flight and on the high end for most airlines). As well, Economy passengers get rare access to a walk-up snack bar.

“The A350 and Project Sunrise will make any city just one flight away from Australia,” says Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce. “It’s the last frontier and the final fix for the tyranny of distance. As you’d expect, the cabin is being specially designed for maximum comfort in all classes for long-haul flying.”

These Project Sunrise flights are scheduled to start in late 2025 from Sydney.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.