Following on from record full-year profits, Qantas have announced a London to Sydney direct flight which will be ready to take off by 2022. This comes on the back of it’s launch of the first scheduled nonstop flights between Perth and Heathrow, which have been flying since March 2018.
When the route does take off, it will be the first non-stop flight lasting in excess of 20 hours. Qantas are making some very interesting noises about what the aircraft and experience could involve. So what should we be expecting from this route, and when can we book our seats?
What could we expect from a London to Sydney direct flight?
We’re not talking about a short hop here. The journey is a whopping 10,573 miles long and is likely to take around 20 hours and 20 minutes in total. According to the carrier, their current epic flight between London and Perth is ‘the highest rating service on our network’, so you know they’re going to be pulling out all the stops to make passengers happy.
The company’s present route from London to Perth uses a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the journey, so there is a possibility that this will be the first choice for the Sydney to London Qantas flight too. However, they have said before that, in order to stay profitable, they would prefer to use a specially configured Boeing 777X or Airbus A350 on these long routes.
Earlier this year, the company challenged both Boeing and Airbus to present an aircraft which would be competent to fly these incredible distances nonstop. In a statement, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said,
“We’re now comfortable that we think we have vehicles that could do it… We’re challenging ourselves to think outside the box. Would you have the space used for other activities – exercise, bar, creche, sleeping areas and berths? Boeing and Airbus have been actually quite creative in coming up with ideas.”
OK, we’re not going to lie… we’re excited. Exercise areas? A bar? This sounds amazing! If even a few of these ambitions come true, the London to Sydney launch date can’t come soon enough.
Named after the potential to see two sunrises in one day (or none, depending on which direction you’re flying in), Project Sunrise has some far-reaching ambitions. Joyce described their goals as being the ‘antidote to the tyranny of distance’.
The carrier has ambitions of connecting the entire world with non-stop flights but has admitted that there are some challenges to overcome. For instance, the Dreamliner has already proven itself on 17-hour flights but extending that to 21 hours will require some innovation and research to make it happen.
The longest flights in the world
Even before they launch Sydney to London Qantas already hold the record for the world’s longest flight. Right now, their daily service from Doha to Auckland holds the crown, racking up a sizeable 9,032 miles in total.
In second place, also by Qantas, is the London to Perth flight which covers 9,009 miles. Emirates bring the third longest flight to the world, with an 8,824-mile service from Auckland to Dubai. However, from October they call all step down a place, as Singapore Airlines take off from their national base on a direct flight to New York. At 9,534 miles, this will become the world’s longest flight, at least until the London to Sydney launch date in 2022.