Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced that an undisclosed aircraft has “met the challenge” and Qantas will be prepared to fly nonstop between Sydney and London and other ultra-longhaul destinations by the end of the year.
Joyce’s prediction came at the Amazon Innovation Conference in Sydney. Speaking about the next frontier of longhaul travel, Joyce stated that Qantas will be prepared to begin routes like Sydney to London, Melbourne to London, and Sydney to New York by the end of the year. Just one small problem: it still needs aircraft to handle the mission.
I wrote notes to the CEO of Airbus, the CEO of Boeing and said ‘we want you to help develop an aircraft … can you do it by 2022?
The reaction of businesses was huge — Airbus said it was a bit like the space race, the race to the moon; that’s how they’re treating it in their organization…
We now believe there’s an aircraft capable of doing that.
Which aircraft might that be? A 777X? An A350? Joyce won’t say. But he does say that Qantas will have all the elements in place by year’s end to begin these ambitious new longhaul routes.
- New flight planning software (called Constellation) that will save on fuel by carefully optimizing flight paths
- New pilot contracts to address the ultra-longhaul flights
- Cabin configurations to ensure that passengers remain “healthy” onboard these longhaul flights
As for the aircraft, Qantas hopes to make a decision by year’s end and begin flying ahead of the 2022 deadline.
The commencement of nonstop service between Sydney and London (a 10,500-mile, 21-hour flight) would make it the longest flight in the world, displacing Singapore Airlines’ nonstop flight from Singapore to Newark.
Would you be willing to hop on a 21-hour flight if you were not flying in business or first class?
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