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“ footnet”, which was first introduced on the A380 and which cradles
the legs during sleep.
Passengers will also gain from the in-built characteristics of the
787-9 itself, with its larger windows, improved air quality, lower
cabin noise and humidity, and turbulence-reducing technology, all
contributing to an improved passenger experience.
But beyond this, Qantas is investigating every aspect of the on-
board service, from food and beverage to lighting and cabin tem-
perature, to contribute to passenger well-being. The
airline has teamed up with the University of Sydney ’s
Charles Perkins Centre and its experts in nutrition,
physical activity, sleep and complex systems model-
ling in what is believed to be the first such integrated
and extensive research into passenger wellbeing on
The work with the University of Sydney follows a
four-year partnership which saw the university ’s Aus-
tralian Centre for Field Robotics and Innovation devel-
op a 4D flight planning system to find the most operationally and
fuel-efficient routes for the airline’s flights, including Sydney-Dallas
and Perth-London. “ This relationship led to a discussion with the
University ’s Charles Perkins Centre, exploring how the expertise
of its academics could determine ways to maximise customer and
workplace health and the customer experience before, during and
after long-haul travel,” says the university.
Research underway by the partners is focusing on strategies to
counteract jetlag, on-board exercise and movement, menu design
and service timing, pre- and post-flight preparation, transit lounge
wellness concepts and the cabin environment, including lighting
“By taking a holistic view of our customers, our partnership will
examine everything from reducing the impact of jetlag through to
health, nutrition and sleep through the entire journey experience,”
explains Joyce. “ We’re all looking at how we can prepare passengers
ahead of their long-haul flight, and of course on-board and when
they arrive at their destinations. We want our customers to feel their
best at the end of their flight with us,” he adds.
The research has already influenced what food and drinks will
be served on-board and when, in conjunction with the airline’s
long-standing creative director, food service and beverages, Neil
Perry. “Neil Perry is working with the centre on new menus for the
787 flights so we are excited that one of Australia’s best culinary
minds is teaming up with the best scientific minds to design the best
possible menu to look after both health and hunger,” says Joyce. The
focus will be on food that is suitable for the various stages of the
journey and can either relax you, help you sleep or energise you at
the end of the flight, while the beverage choices will be aimed at
maintaining optimum hydration for the long flight.
The researchers have also had an impact on cabin lighting se-
lected for the flight, with the LED lighting capabilities of the 787
explored for different stages of the flight and their effect on the
body, for example to either promote sleep or to energise passengers.
Cabin temperature is also a focus of attention and the effect that
has on passenger well-being and in-flight activity or lack thereof.
Qantas is due to take delivery of the first of eight 787-9s in Octo-
ber, with the first route to be Melbourne-Los Angeles. Qantas and
the Charles Perkins Centre are looking at the potential of having
some frequent flyers be equipped with wearable devices to meas-
ure biorhythms during the flight, with this data to be fed into the
The University of Sydney has high hopes for the research. “ There
is the potential for extraordinary health, science and engineering
discoveries and innovations to come out of this research partner-
ship, which will also provide the evidence base needed for Qantas
to implement strategies to further improve how people feel after a
long-haul flight,” says professor Steve Simpson, academic director
of the Charles Perkins Centre, adding that it is the first time that
collaboration between an airline and a university on in-flight health
and well-being has gone beyond medical emergencies.
The university expects it to lead to further collaboration with the
airline: “ We foresee this relationship to be ongoing, working together
across all parts of the passenger experience.”
◀ The airline’s new Dreamliners will be making some of the longest
flights in the world.
▶ Economy Class passengers will benefit from more room, with an
extra inch of seat pitch compared with the airline’s A380s.
By taking a holistic view of our customers, our
partnership will examine everything from reducing
the impact of jetlag through to health, nutrition and
sleep through the entire journey experience.
ALAN JOYCE, QANTAS CEO
10/08/2017 4:55:45 PM
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