Project Sunrise: Qantas sets the bar high for stylish “ultra long-haul” travel

qantas long-haul

Qantas has revealed what the future will look like for its first and business class flyers on Project Sunrise, a network of “ultra long-haul” flights between Australia, New York and London. Here’s a sneak peak of the luxury cabins.  

From late 2025, the world’s safest airline and Australia’s flag carrier Qantas will be flying non-stop from Australia – Sydney and Melbourne – to New York and London. And if you thought avoiding lengthy lay-overs was a luxury, just take a look at what passengers in first and business class will be enjoying in-flight. 

Up at the front, first class flyers will feel like they’re in a mini “boutique hotel” rather than an airplane, with an “extra-wide fixed bed, separate recliner chair, personal wardrobe, dining table for two and a 32-inch ultra-high definition TV”. 

qantas long-haul
First class cabins: the future of luxury long-haul flights

Each business suite will have access to an aisle and sliding doors will be fitted for the times passengers want to switch off after stretching their legs. Other features include a generous two-metre bed and plentiful storage. Even a dining table has been integrated into the space, alongside a TV and wireless induction charging.  

High-speed Wi-Fi will be available to both sections following completion of key satellite launches that will eventually cover the Qantas international network. 

To give passengers more space on these flights, which will encompass two sunrises, Qantas’ 12 Airbus A350s have been reconfigured to seat 238 rather than 300 passengers, as used by most other carriers.  

Business class comforts

The airline has also worked with numerous scientists and specialists, including sleep experts from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, to ensure maximum comfort on the long journeys.  

“We began designing this aircraft cabin five years ago, working with Airbus and Qantas to maximise space, as well as creating a tailored lighting program that will influence mood and sleep patterns,” says designer David Caon. “All the design and service elements will work together to significantly improve in-flight comfort, convenience and health and wellbeing, and help minimise the old nemesis of jetlag.” 


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Images courtesy of Qantas

France to offer emergency financial aid to domestic violence victims fleeing abusive situations

france domestic violence

A new law was passed in France this week, which will give victims of domestic violence access to an emergency fund to help them escape abusive situations quickly and establish a safer future.  

The law states that those in need will be eligible for either free assistance or an interest-free loan in order to allow them to remove themselves safely and rapidly from a bad situation.  

The national domestic violence statistics are alarming: 208,000 reports of abuse were filed in 2021 in France and 122 women were killed by their spouses. Most didn’t have the means to leave, making them literal prisoners to abusive partners and exposing themselves and their children to danger.  

The new law will help change that by “guaranteeing them the financial conditions necessary to take shelter and make a new start”, says the government on its Public Service website.  

The level of help will vary case to case, but the government is saying the first installment will be ready to use within three working days. Assistance will be available for up to six months and will also include complementary solidarity health care and social and professional support. 

Furthermore, in the case of a loan, the repayment may be the responsibility of the abuser, with a €5,000 cap. If the victim is paying, they could benefit from reductions depending on their situation.  

Universal emergency aid will be ready by the end of 2023. 



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Photo by Eric Ward for Unsplash 

“This is a pivotal moment for private wealth”: Knight Frank Wealth Report

knight frank wealth report

A year of “permacrisis” in 2022 saw the total wealth of the world’s UHNWIs shrink by 10%. That’s almost €10 trillion. But things are looking up for “wealth creation” in 2023, according to the latest report from Knight Frank.

Shocks to the global energy industry, ongoing geopolitical crises and subsequent economic difficulties made 2022 a tough year for investors. Just four in 10 at the top of the scale experienced growth.

“Challenging markets meant the majority of UHNWIs saw their wealth decline last year, with their collective wealth falling by 10%,” says the head of Global Research at Knight Frank, Liam Bailey. “The epicentre of the crisis, Europe, was at the sharp end with an average 17% fall.”

Property – private or commercial – remains key

On average, private residential real estate represents a third of total wealth for UHNWIS, followed by equities at 26% and commercial property at 21%.

“The fall in wealth is unsurprising given the dramatic pivot in monetary policy that culminated in the worst performance for the traditional blended portfolio since the 1930s,” says Knight Frank’s Flora Harley.

The main goals of UHNWIs going into 2023, reads the report, is capital appreciation and preservation. The latter is particularly true for Europe’s most wealthy, who are also the keenest to deleverage debt, mainly due to rising interest rates.

Still, almost seven in 10 UHNWIs across the world are anticipating growth in their portfolios this year. Nearly half plan on adding to them.

“This is a pivotal moment for private wealth,” says Knight Frank’s Rory Penn. “Despite ongoing economic headwinds, we believe that now is the time to focus on the opportunities ahead.”

Property, a traditional favourite, retains its status as a popular investment strategy and “a third of HNWIs are looking to increase their residential holdings, while 28% will seek to increase their commercial property holdings”.

Within the Top 10 destinations for private capital in 2022, France performed best with a 21% increase, making it one of just two locations – in addition to the UK with 1% – to see any rise in 2022. France also has the most international real estate marketplace globally.

Passion investments

Diversification is on the minds of investors going into 2023, and an interesting inclusion in the Knight Frank 2023 Wealth Report are “investments of passion”.

There was a boom in investments in art, cars, watches, jewellery, fine wine and the like over the course of 2022, reflecting an upward trend noted over the last decade.

“Art (up 29%) and classic cars (25%) led the table, propelled by record-breaking sales and some huge and unique collections coming to the markets,” writes Knight Frank’s Andrew Shirley. “While rare whiskies only managed 3% growth last year, early adopters will be happy with a 373% 10-year return. Looking ahead, prospects are good for the two leading categories with 59% and 34% of UHNWIs respectively looking to invest in 2023. Even whisky (18%) might be set for a rebound.”

These “investments of passion” saw a 16% rise during 2022, beating inflation and “outperforming the majority of mainstream investment classes, including equities and even gold”.



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Photo by Tamara Malaniy for Unsplash

Women of Monaco lunch and awards ceremony to support Princess Grace Foundation

women of monaco lunch

To mark International Women’s Day, the Women of Monaco community will enjoy a special lunch and awards ceremony at the Yacht Club de Monaco.  

On 8th March, the fifth edition of the Women of Monaco Lunch will treat 50 ladies from all nationalities, backgrounds and fields of work to an exclusive event at the Yacht Club de Monaco.  

Created by Sandrine Knoell and organised by the Five Stars Events agency, the lunch and awards ceremony will pay tribute to the efforts of women living in the Principality as well as mark International Women’s Day. Organisers say it will be “a day where women are recognised for their achievements without regards to any ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political differences”.  

The award categories for 2023 are: art and culture, charity, image, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and digital.  

Alongside a special exhibition from “soul energy” artist Iryna Parepskaya, the lunch will also provide the catwalk for a fashion show by Isabel Fargnoli, who works with sustainably sourced and natural fibres.  

Guest of honour will be lawyer Raphaëlle Svara, one of the founding partners of CMS Monaco law firm and co-head of its Private Clientele team. She is a specialist in family law and is widely seen as one of the most experienced defence lawyers in Monaco. 

Funds raised will go towards the work of the Princess Grace Foundation.  

To reserve your seat, please contact  


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Photo source: AMLA / Facebook

Formula 1: What we learned about Charles Leclerc’s season from Drive to Survive

Drive to Survive Leclerc

With the curtain set to raise on a new Formula 1 season, the Drive to Survive Netflix series has provided fresh insight into Ferrari’s and Charles Leclerc’s struggles last year.

Drive to Survive is a Netflix series that documents the various narratives across the course of the Formula 1 season. Now in its fifth season, it is a supplement to the on-track action, providing behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive quotes from those within the sport, from team principals such as Toto Wolff, to drivers, team CEOs and renowned journalists within the sport.

The third episode of season five, which was released last Friday, has now provided extra insight into Ferrari’s mid-season collapse, detailing the rising tensions and the self-awareness of the degenerating situation at the Italian manufacturer.

An advantage squandered

Ferrari had begun the season well. The Prancing Horse brand had the pace in the early races and managed to convert that domination into points, notably during the first race of the season in Sakhir. In Drive to Survive, Red Bull team principal described seeing Ferrari’s early season pace as “gut-wrenching,” whilst Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said, “This year, we finally have all the conditions to do well.”

Charles Leclerc, despite not being the designated Number One, as Binotto revealed, was Ferrari’s main source of points and the championship leader in the early part of the season. For the Monégasque driver, that position was on par with where he believed the team should be.

“Ferrari is meant to be competing for wins and I think this year, we are capable of doing so. We need to give it our all,” he told Drive to Survive.

Leclerc admitted to the “added scrutiny and pressure” of being a Ferrari driver at the front of the grid, but it wasn’t the Monégasque who cracked under that pressure in Miami.

Red Bull shocked by Ferrari errors

The first of a catalogue of costly errors came at the inaugural Miami Grand Prix back in May. Whilst not Ferrari’s most high-profile error, Drive to Survive detailed how the race was the beginning of a negative spiral.

Leclerc had started on pole in Florida but was behind Max Verstappen for large swathes of the race. Ferrari had the pace throughout the weekend, and they should have won it, if not for a strategic call that later shocked Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Neither Leclerc nor Carlos Sainz took the opportunity to pit and chase the lead in the closing laps of the race, a crucial error, which cost them the chance of a win.

“They missed the pit stop with both cars, otherwise they would have had a significant advantage,” said Horner. The Brit added, “I watched Leclerc go past and thought that the GPS must be wrong.”

However, it wasn’t wrong, and Ferrari had passed up a shot at victory.

“In the management of the race here in Miami, they (Red Bull) had something more than us. We made a mistake,” admitted Binotto to Drive to Survive.

A “heavy air of worry” at Ferrari

After Miami, the errors began to accumulate.

“We couldn’t go more than two or three races without a setback,” said Sainz.

Technical issues put pay to a result in Baku, but a double-stacking of cars in the pitstops at Leclerc’s home race in Monaco cost the Monégasque a chance at victory. Instead, it was Sergio Perez that stood atop the podium on the streets of Monte-Carlo.

“No words, no words. We cannot do that,” said Leclerc over the team radio post-race.

Internally, Ferrari were aware of their repeated errors, which were beginning to feed into a negative atmosphere at the Italian team.

“We are aware that we are making mistakes. There is a heavy, difficult atmosphere, maybe even a heavy air of worry. There is too much criticism of the team and the pit wall, and demands for everything to be changed. The team really feels this criticism,” said Binotto.

Leclerc described that phase of the season as “frustrating” and said that although he was trying to control his emotions, he was unhappy with how his season was going. Things would yet worsen.

Sainz refuses team orders at Silverstone

Ferrari’s most high-profile blunder came at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July. Prior to a late safety car, Leclerc was in the lead, and his team made the costly error of not pitting their Monégasque driver. All of his competitors, including teammate Sainz had pitted for fresh tyres, leaving Leclerc a sitting duck.

Within this context, Sainz was asked to leave 1o car lengths at the restart in order to protect the fledging Leclerc. The Spanish driver explained his refusal of this order in Drive to Survive.

“I have to stay true to my beliefs,” he said. Over team radio at the time, he pleaded for the team – “Please don’t ask these things…” – and proceeded to ignore the order on his way to a maiden victory.

“I know that at the end of the race, Charles was very frustrated, very unhappy because he felt he had a very good race and that he would finally bring home a result. It wasn’t the first time,” said Binotto.

Leclerc: “Too many mistakes”

That period was ultimately costly. Ferrari may have had the quicker car at the beginning of the season, but momentum had been handed to Red Bull, who ultimately won the drivers and constructors championships at a canter.

“There has been a lot of criticism around the team and we made too many mistakes at one point of the season,” said Leclerc to Drive to Survive at the end of the season. Teammate Sainz added that there were “too many things [we] need to improve as a team”.

Those mistakes ultimately cost Binotto his job at Ferrari, and the Italian was replaced by Frédéric Vasseur during the off-season, but notably after filming of Drive to Survive season five had ended. Binotto leaves the set under the impression that he will lead the Prancing Horse into 2023, whilst Vasseur, asked if the red of Ferrari would suit him, jokes that he believes it would.

Vasseur and Leclerc will renew their partnership in 2023, hoping to realise their greatest achievements in their respective careers with Ferrari.

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Photo from Roberto Monti

The Monaco Life Ski Report

Fresh snowfall and clear skies will make for some idyllic skiing conditions in the region’s resorts this weekend, especially at Isola 2000 and Limone Piemonte. 

Isola 2000 – There are currently 44 ski slopes and 19 ski lifts open in Isola 2000. On Thursday there was further fresh snowfall, meaning there will be up to 130cm at the summit. Skiing conditions will be perfect over the weekend, with full sunshine on Saturday and Sunday, and temperatures set to remain low, with highs of 4°C and lows of -7°C. There are two separate youth skiing tournaments taking place on Saturday and Sunday at the resort. The Col de la Lombarde road is closed until further notice.

Auron – There are currently 36 ski pistes and 19 ski lifts open at the resort, down on last week.  Temperatures are expected to be higher relative to neighbouring resorts with highs of  6°C. Weather conditions throughout the weekend are expected to be pleasant with a mixture of cloud and sunshine. In terms of access, Route de la Bonette, Piste de la Moustière, Piste de Demandols and Route de la Lombarde are all closed for the winter season.

Valberg – There are 21 ski slopes and 13 ski lifts open. After the heavy snowfall towards the end of January, there is still 60cm worth of snow at the summit. Temperatures will remain above freezing throughout the weekend with highs of 8°C.

Limone Piemonte – The Italian resort is reporting 31 open runs and 13 ski lifts. The resort’s snow levels were topped up with fresh snowfall falling through Wednesday and Thursday, however, conditions are expected to clear over the weekend with sunny spells. There will be lows of 0°C and a potential high of 8°C. Passage through the Roya valley currently isn’t possible due to the collapsed bridge at Tende. The journey from Monaco is currently approximately three hours by car, although the train line is in operation.

Gréolières-les-Neiges – This popular family resort, which lies less than an hour from the coast, continues to struggle with poor snowfall due to its location at a lower altitude than other south of France ski stations. However, there are still six slopes that will be skiable this weekend, all of which are in close proximity to the village. Consistent with conditions throughout the region, there will be a mixture of sun and cloud, with a chance of some rain late on Saturday.

Val d’Allos – The resort, which combines Allos, Seigneus and La Foux d’Allos as well as access to Pra-Loup, is running close to complete capacity, with 25 out of its 27 lifts in operation and 51 out of 64 pistes welcoming skiers, snowboarders and the rest. Temperatures fluctuate from -7°C to 8°C. Conditions will be perfect for skiing on Saturday and Sunday with clear skies expected.

Chamonix – Deeper into the Alps and a five-and-a-half-hour drive to the north of Monaco, the resort of Chamonix has 99 pistes and 59 ski lifts currently in operation. There will be spells of sunshine at the resort, with no precipitation expected. Temperatures will range from 8°C to -6°C.

Note: Snow tyres or other suitable equipment must be used on the roads up to the ski resorts.


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Photo by Fun Radio Côte d’Azur/Facebook