SYDNEY: Qantas has floated the idea of overhauling the traditional cargo space in its planes and outfitting it with gyms and sleeping berths, Australian media reported on Wednesday (Mar 28).
"One of the concepts that we have is ... could some of the freight areas we may not use be used as an exercise area? Could they be used for berths for people to sleep in? Is there a new class that’s needed on the aircraft?,” The Australian Business Traveller cited Qantas CEO Alan Joyce as saying in a speech to the The Aviation Club UK.
"There's a lot of 'out there' thinking that's going on," Mr Joyce added.
The announcement came on the back of Qantas launching the first non-stop passenger service linking Australia and Europe, with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner departing Perth for London on one of the longest flights in the world on Mar 24.
The service makes Qantas one among a handful of airlines that operate on such long-distance intercontinental routes.
Mr Joyce further elaborated on the cargo concept at a lunch attended by Fairfax Media, saying "nothing is off the table" when it comes to re-imagining a potential new class of travel, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Qantas said it has put the idea to both Airbus and Boeing, the Herald reported.
Mr Joyce added that the challenge for both these aircraft manufacturers would be to make room for the exercise area with full passenger and full freight load.
Mr Joyce also said that aviation regulators would have to change rules restricting how long pilots can fly for the long-haul routes to work.