Qantas to test 19-hour flights to New York

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Qantas will run test services of its planned 19-hour flights to determine whether passengers and crew can withstand the marathon journeys.

The airline wants to operate non-stop services from Sydney to London and New York by as soon as 2022.

It will conduct three test flights with Boeing 787-9s on what has been named “Project Sunrise” and participants – made up of crew and Qantas employees – will be fitted with wearable technology devices who will have their health monitored on the journey. Qantas said that by the year’s end it would decide on whether to start the flights.

If launched, the services would be the world’s longest direct flights.

The trial flights will begin later this year, each carrying up to 40 passengers

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said direct flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York represented the “final frontier in aviation”.

No commercial airline has ever flown direct from New York to Australia. Qantas has once flown non-stop from London to Sydney in 1989 to mark the entry into service of the Boeing 747-400. That flight had a total of 23 people on board and minimal internal fit-out in order to provide the range. The aircraft, registered VH-OJA, was donated by Qantas in 2017 to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society near Wollongong, New South Wales.


Via Qantas

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