Qantas has launched a research programme with Sydney University to pave the way for future ultra long-haul flights.
Qantas is asking its customers for feedback on features they would like to see on future ultra long-haul services. Suggestions have included stationary exercise bikes and virtual reality relaxation and entertainment.
The research is being conducted in conjunction with Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre as Qantas prepares to launch non-stop flights from the east coast of Australia to New York and London, starting in 2022. The partnership with Charles Perkins Centre was launched 12 months ago to use scientific research to help shape the customer experience of long-haul services.
The airline has been conducting focus group research as well as surveying customers as they step off the airline's direct London to Perth services as part of Project Sunrise. CEO Qantas International Alison Webster said the new research is showing increased interest towards physical wellbeing, state of mind and personal time and space.
The top five most frequent suggestions from customers, according to Qantas:
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 inflight 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 inflight 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 is expected to make an announcement around Project Sunrise later in 2019, including which aircraft type it will operate the Boeing 777X or the Airbus A350.