AviationIt’s bye-bye Beijing, hello Sunrise for Aussie carrier

Next step, non-stop London-Sydney for Qantas

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce with his ultra-long-haul flying team.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce with his ultra-long-haul flying team. Photo Credit: James D Morgan/Qantas

SYDNEY - Qantas is about to embark on its second ultra-long-haul research flight as part of scientific studies – tagged Project Sunrise - into minimising jetlag for passengers and improving crew well-being.

The first research flight operated between New York and Sydney non-stop four weeks ago with 49 passengers and crew. It cut around three hours off the typical gate-to-gate travel time of current one-stop flights.

For its next research flight, Qantas is flying from London to Sydney non-stop when it will build on learnings from New York-Sydney service last month.

Among the onboard services being trialled by Qantas is ‘supper at breakfast time’ to help passengers adjust to new time zones.

The latest research flight will depart London Heathrow on Nov. 15 carrying around 50 passengers and crew in order to give the Boeing 787-9 the range required for the 17,800 km flight, expected to take around 19 hours and 30 minutes.

The airline already flies London to Perth non-stop in around 17 hours.

Closer to home, Qantas will drop its Sydney to Beijing service from March next year, saying it has become unviable because of weak demand from premium passengers and as Chinese carriers increase capacity on the route.

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