Qantas fly non-stop from London to Sydney in new research programme

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by Jessica Tabinor on

    INDUSTRY NEWS | 3 MIN READ

  • Australia’s airline, Qantas has flown a Boeing 787 Dreamliner non-stop from London to Sydney in a research flight.

  • Qantas is also using Project Sunrise to improve its in-flight cabin programme with an aim to reduce jetlag and make flights more comfortable for passengers.

Australia’s airline, Qantas has flown a Boeing 787 Dreamliner non-stop from London to Sydney in a research flight.

The flight took 19 hours and 19 minutes and was part of the airline’s new research programme, Project Sunrise. The program aims to push the limits of ultra-long-haul passenger flights and increase direct routes.

Last month the Boeing 787 flew non-stop from New York to Sydney in 19 hours 16 minutes and the third and final research flight will see the plane fly from Sydney to New York in December 2019.

Qantas Chairman, Richard Goyder said:

“Qantas is a national icon because it’s been such a big part of Australian life for so long.”

“We started in outback Queensland carrying mail and a few passengers in the 1920s. We grew as Australia grew, and we’ve had important support roles during wars, national disasters and celebrations. Our founders talked about overcoming the tyranny of distance and through the years we’ve moved from bi-planes, to single wing, to jets to help bring things closer.”

The Boeing 787-9 has been named Longreach. It re-routed via London from Boeing’s Seattle factory in order to complete the research flight.aerospace jobs

The airline has already stated that the direct London to Sydney flight reduced the total travel time by around two hours compared to the current routes available.

The flight was only the second time that a commercial airline has ever flown non-stop on this route. In 1989, Qantas flew an almost empty 747-400 with a take-off weight of 384 tonnes, including 23 people and 184 tonnes of fuel. In comparison, the latest flight had a take-off weight of 254 tonnes, including 52 people and 100 tonnes of fuel. When it landed in Sydney, it had 6,300kg of fuel remaining, which is enough for around another 1 hour 45 minutes of flight.  

Qantas is also using Project Sunrise to improve its in-flight cabin programme with an aim to reduce jetlag and make flights more comfortable for passengers.

Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce explains:

“Night flights usually start with dinner and then lights off. For this flight, we started with lunch and kept the lights on for the first six hours, to match the time of day at our destination. It means you start reducing the jetlag straight away”

“We know ultra long haul flights pose some extra challenges but that’s been true every time technology has allowed us to fly further. The research we’re doing should give us better strategies for improving comfort and wellbeing along the way.”


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