In good news for people who hate stop-overs, Qantas has just announced it will begin direct flights from east-coast Australia to London and New York from late 2025.
The planned flights are expected to leave from Sydney and Melbourne, and have an estimated flight time over 20 hours, making them the longest in the world.
Confirming a multi-billion dollar order for a dozen Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, Qantas will begin replacing their domestic fleet of older Boeing 737s from late 2023.
Dubbed “Project Sunrise“, the 20-hour flights were initially planned to be launched in 2023, but were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to internal timelines, Qantas aims to have all 12 A350s operating by 2028 with plans to buy a further 94 over the next 10 years.
The new jets not only have increased seating capacity but they also have a range of 8700 kilometres — 3000 further than a 737 — allowing them to make longer trips.
According to Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, the aircrafts will accommodate for the long trip times with a “wellbeing zone” in the centre of the planes, where passengers will be encouraged to do light exercise.
“The cabin is being specifically designed for maximum comfort in all classes for long-haul flying,” said Joyce.
Since 2018, Qantas has been operating direct flights from Perth to London, but swapped Perth out for Darwin during the pandemic due to WAs tougher border restrictions. Currently, most flights to New York City or London involve a length stop-over in other cities like Singapore, Doha, and Los Angeles.
Travellers will be expected to pay for the extra convenience and time-saving. More than 40 percent of seats on these cabins will be dedicated to premium seating — of the 238 seats on board the new aircrafts, 98 will be first class, business, and premium economy seats. And if you’re going to spend that long on a plane, you’d want to be comfortable.
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