We’ve known for a while that Qantas intends to operate flights non-stop between London and Sydney. The feat has been achieved before with a B747 carrying no passengers, however, it is beyond the remit of current passenger planes on a day to day basis. The world’s longest flight operates between Singapore and New York, however, Qantas operates the third longest route. This is a non-stop connection between Perth and London operated by the Boeing B787. The route is known as the Kangaroo route.
Boeing vs Airbus
Qantas is looking to order new aircraft for the non-stop route. Its CEO has previously said that both the B777x and the A350 are on the cards. As such, Qantas has issued a challenge to both major manufacturers to make their aircraft accessible to the long distance. The distance between London Heathrow and Sydney Airport is 9,720 nautical miles as the crow flies. When Qantas first launched the “Kangaroo Route” between London and Sydney it took 4 days and 9 stops. Qantas hope that these new aircraft will be capable of flying from London to Sydney in 20 hours and 20 minutes.
The A350 takes 18 hours to fly between Singapore and New York. The new B777x is billed to have a max range of 8,690 nmi. Additionally, the A350ULR currently has a max range of 9,700 nmi. Singapore Airlines does not provide any economy seats on the A350ULR. Instead, to save weight, the aircraft is only equipped with premium economy and business seats.
2019 Estimated Order Date
Now we know that Qantas intends to order the new aircraft for the feel by the end of 2019. While Qantas hasn’t told which aircraft they will order, we know that the A350 or the B777x will be ordered. Qantas had previously demanded that the aircraft was capable of carrying 300+ passengers, with a four-class interior. Now it has scrapped this demand.
Alan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas spoke to the South China Morning Post regarding the ambitions yesterday. “Both [Boeing and Airbus] have made really good progress from where we started in the capabilities of the critical missions from Melbourne and Sydney to London and New York. Our belief is [ultra-long-haul flights are] not going to be full passenger payload and freight, but there is sufficient capacity to make it commercially viable,”
Qantas intends to order the new aircraft in 2019 and is aiming for direct flights between London and Sydney, dubbed project sunrise, to commence in 2022. Do you think Qantas will opt for Boeing or Airbus? Let us know in the comments down below!