Non-stop passenger flights between London and Sydney will begin in 2025. Flights could take 19 hours south and up to two hours longer north, due to jet stream effects. But its success will depend on the reopening of Russian airspace.
The shortest route between Heathrow and Australia’s largest city is 10,573 miles.
The London-Sydney route will be 1,000 miles longer than the current world’s longest commercial route, connecting Singapore and New York.
Qantas has announced an order for up to a dozen Airbus A350-1000 specially tuned jets to be used on new non-stop routes from Sydney to both London and New York. The second route, 9,940 miles long, mainly crosses the Pacific Ocean and US airspace.
Australia Airlines launched non-stop flights between Heathrow and Perth, which are 9,009 miles long, in 2018. They were suspended for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic but resumed in March.
The original plan was for ultra-long-haul flights to begin as early as 2023. But the Covid crisis – and the closure of Australia’s borders for almost two years – has put in place the so-called “Project Sunrise” return.
The new link will depend on the reopening of Russian airspace to Western airlines. The most direct route between London and Sydney passes near Moscow.
A route further south to avoid Russia overflying would add at least 500 miles and an hour to flight time, which could affect the payload the plane can carry and its finances. its.
Qantas has been planning Project Sunrise for five years. It first flew non-stop from London to Sydney in 1989 and another public flight took place in 2019.
The airline chose the A350 over the latest Boeing 777X. Airbus will add an additional fuel tank and slightly increase the maximum take-off weight for the new link.
The aircraft manufacturer sent a specially decorated A350 to Sydney for its launch, featuring “Our Spirits Fly Farther” and “#LongRangeLeader” decorations.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce believes demand for an ongoing UK-Australia link will be higher than ever due to concerns about intermediate stops in the coronavirus era.
Direct flights this year between London and Perth are proving extremely popular as they avoid other countries’ travel restrictions.
“For over 100 years, Qantas has been at the forefront of transforming the way the world gets around, especially through non-stop flights,” said Mr. Joyce.
“Now, the A350 and Project Sunrise will make almost any city in the world a flight from Australia. It is the final frontier and final solution to the tyranny of distance that has traditionally challenged travel to Australia. “
He said that while the first flights will link Sydney with London and New York, direct connections to destinations such as Paris and Frankfurt will be possible in the future.
The plane will be fitted with 238 seats, which Qantas says is the lowest of any other A350-1000 currently in service and more than 40% of the cabin will be for premium seats. There will also be a ‘Wellbeing Zone’ on board.
Sean Moulton, airline schedule analyst, said: “Covid makes super-long-haul routes more appealing, skipping stops in case border rules change.
“Qantas can grow on its highly successful Perth-London route by adding nonstop flights to Sydney and Melbourne.
“While these may appeal to first-class people and entrepreneurs, are those in the economy ready to face these slogans?”