This airline has big plans to make flying a healthier experience

It’s pretty normal to feel horrendous at the end of a long haul flight – jet-lagged, aching, dehydrated and bloated. But with travellers spending more time in the air, airlines are working hard to change that, with Qantas at the forefront.

The Aussie airline that will soon be launching a mammoth 18-hour direct stint from Perth to London aboard its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Dreamliner Qantas
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As a result, the Flying Kangaroo aims to “reshape the travel experience” with the help of the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre. The partners will focus on areas like nutrition, physical activity and sleep.

Together they will try to work out how to counteract jetlag and encourage on-board movement.

Further plans will include menu design and service timing, pre and post-flight preparation, transit lounge wellness concepts and an improved cabin environment.

qantas economy dreamliner

Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce explained the partnership will take a “holistic view” of the airline’s customers.

It plans to look at the “entire journey experience” – before, during and after the flight.

“While the Dreamliner aircraft itself is already a step change for passengers with its larger windows, increased cabin humidity and lower cabin altitude, the findings that will come from Charles Perkins Centre researchers will allow Qantas to design and develop a range of new innovations and strategies to complement the Dreamliner experience,” he said.

And forget those unappetising trays of stodgy plane food. Chef Neil Perry of Rockpool fame is also working with the centre on new healthy menus for the 787 flights.


Selected Qantas frequent flyers will be invited to take part in trials of wearable technology to measure biorhythms during travel. These will inspire the design and development of more products to enhance travellers’ time in the skies.

Professor Steve Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre, described the partnership as “hugely exciting”.

“There is the potential for extraordinary health, science and engineering discoveries and innovations to come out of this research partnership, which will also provide the evidence-base needed for Qantas to implement strategies to further improve how people feel after a long haul flight,” he said.


Do you tend to feel horrible after a long flight?

About Anne Majumdar

Journo turned fitness professional, passionate about helping people to live a healthier and happier life! A long way from London, I now call Sydney home.

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