Seattle | Published on 18th October 2017 at 8:29

A group of Qantas customers will participate in a study on inflight health and wellness between the national carrier and one of Australia’s leading academic institutions.

The University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) brings together researchers from a variety of fields, from metabolic health and physical activity to nutrition and sleep.

Qantas and CPC have already worked together to influence cabin lighting scenarios, cabin temperature, meal timing and recipe development for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner as well as lounge design of the new Perth International transit lounge.

The next round of research will involve fitting a group of volunteer Qantas customers with wearable technology to measure the influence of travel on overall wellbeing.

Qantas Chief Customer Officer Olivia Wirth said the airline’s “Project Sunrise” challenge for Airbus and Boeing to develop an aircraft capable of flying from the east coast of Australia to London and New York has added an additional level of research requirements around long haul flying.

“We have already implemented some terrific initiatives in the cabin design of our new Dreamliner in consultation with the world class researchers at Charles Perkins Centre and we believe they will make a significant difference to the way our customers feel at the end of their long haul flight,” she said.

“It’s an exciting new frontier and we are eager to see how we can improve our understanding by taking a more scientific approach to the onboard experience of our passengers,” she said.

Professor Steve Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre, said the second phase of the partnership poses the most exciting potential around real world outcomes that will shape the future of flight for passengers.

“We are hugely excited to have the opportunity to conduct cutting edge research of fundamental interest to our academics, which can then be translated directly into the service provided by Qantas to improve the experience of long haul flying for both passengers and crew,” Professor Simpson said.

“Drawing researchers from many different disciplines together, the Charles Perkins Centre is discovering solutions to real-world challenges, while also generating breakthrough science.

“The data we will collect in the next phase of the partnership will be used to shape and refine the next generation of services provided by Qantas, for the benefit of passengers and crew alike.”

Images of Qantas’ 787 Dreamliner being collected in Seattle are available here, and its Economy, Premium Economy and Business cabins are available here.