Qantas has unveiled a new range of inflight tableware by Australian Industrial Designer and lead designer of the Qantas 787 Dreamliner cabin interiors, David Caon. The range includes crockery by Noritake, cutlery and glassware.


In a collaboration with Qantas’s long-standing Creative Director Food, Beverage & Service Neil Perry, David Caon has designed this new range of modern, lightweight tableware for First, Business and Premium Economy passengers including the Qantas lounge network.


The resulting 16-piece crockery set is crafted from Noritake Fine Bone China, a five-piece brush finished stainless steel cutlery setting and a sophisticated collection of modern glassware. Caon’s objective when designing the new tableware was to combine minimal, classic elegance with quality and functionality.


“There is a fine balance between finding ingenious ways of making a product lighter and compromising its utility or quality,” said Mr Caon.

“Uniformity was important, but Neil Perry and I wanted some special pieces that stood out, some randomness amongst the harmony. The result of this was a beautiful signature plate and dish, featuring a grey ink motif.”


The results are simplistically pleasing to the eye. “We’ve taken key design cues from the 787 interiors as our inspiration for the tableware. Straight lines were minimised in the design with the same 800mm curve applied to each object in a way to soften and humanise. This organically geometric aesthetic lends continuity of design across the range and to the aircraft,” he added.


Interestingly, the designer opted for a stemless glass range in business class, something that is still not uniformed across airlines, with some adopting for the traditional stemmed glassware. First Class passengers however, still will enjoy glasses with stems.


“Ten years ago, a stemless wine glass may have been confronting to some passengers, but today it is common and accepted, so it made sense to introduce this design which can be used for multiple beverages in a dynamic environment,” said David Caon.


This wasn’t just industrial design for design’s sake. The new range has had an additional benefit to Qantas. “Aside from aesthetics and functionality, we also tasked David to help minimise our carbon footprint by reducing the weight of the new range by eleven percent, resulting in an annual saving of up to 535,000 kilograms in fuel,” stated Qantas Group Executive Brand Marketing & Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth.


Key Facts

  • The new range represents an 11 per cent reduction in weight across the fleet, which will result in an average annual saving of 535,000 kilograms of fuel
  • Qantas will carry more than 3,000 pieces of crockery, cutlery and glasses on a single B787 flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles, and nearly 5,000 items on an A380 flight
  • The weight of the meal carts on the 787 will be reduced by 40 per cent
  • Qantas serves 200,000 bottles of Champagne each year on board its aircraft
  • Qantas serves up more than 600,000 steak sandwiches in First each year worldwide

The Big Picture

Posted by:Jonny Clark

2 replies on “Qantas Introduces New Noritake Tableware Designed By David Caon

  1. Mmm, opting (not ‘adopting’) for stemless glasses is definitely not “accepted” by all Business class passengers. They are awful and I know I’m not alone in this view.

  2. I think the glassware is gorgeous, as is the cutlery. Not sure about the ink splash, but I assume that it looks different in person than in a photo. I wonder though about the 600 000 steak sandwiches a year in F. Qantas only has F on the 747 and A380. They have 12 A380s and 5 747s in service each with 14 F seats. That makes 238 F seats. If every F passenger eats a steak sandwich, and each of these planes flew twice a day, that is still just 173 000 sandwiches. Or does the 600 000 include J seats when flying as “domestic” F?

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