Qantas has its sights set on launching a new world’s longest commercial flight within the next five years, with non-stop routes between the east coast of Australia and London and New York on the cards.
Currently, no aircraft has the capability to make this journey. A non-stop flight between Sydney and New York would take an estimated 18 hours and seven minutes, while a direct flight to London would take 20 hours and 20 minutes – almost three hours longer than the world’s current longest commercial flight, Qatar Airways’ Doha-Auckland service, which takes 17 and a half hours.
However, in theory, these flights would cut up to four hours from the current flight times between London and Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and up to three hours from current flights to New York.
Boeing’s upcoming 777X and Airbus’s ultra-long-range version of the A350-900 are capable of ranges close to those required to make the journey. Qantas hopes that by announcing its intentions it has “issued a challenge” to both manufacturers to successfully extend the range of new under development aircraft by 2022.
Business Traveller previously took a more in-depth look at six new and upcoming aircraft that are currently under development.
Qantas already had its sights set on non-stop flights between Australia and the UK, with its 17-hour non-stop Perth-London flights due to start flying on March 24, 2018.
These flights will be operated by the airline’s new B787-9 Dreamliner, which will debut on Qantas’s Melbourne-Los Angeles service this December, replacing the current B747 that currently flies the route. Qantas has been retiring its B747s in preparation for the eight B787-9 Dreamliners it has on order and are expected to join the fleet from this October onwards.