Qantas one step closer to long-haul flight promise

Qantas one step closer to long-haul flight promise

Just a matter of months after Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced a new long-haul flight ambition, the national carrier is one step closer to realising its goals.

Back in August, upon announcing the mammoth $1.4 billion profit for FY17, Joyce revealed what he called ‘Project Sunrise’, which challenged Boeing and Airbus to deliver aircraft capable of direct flights from Sydney to London, Brisbane to Paris, and Melbourne to New York.

“From next year, we’ll be flying direct from Perth to London. So the time is right to set ourselves a new challenge. To chase a new frontier,” Joyce said.

“This is a last frontier in global aviation. And a revolution for air travel in Australia.”

“I have written to the CEOs of Boeing and Airbus to extend the challenge to them. Both manufacturers are developing aircraft that can almost do the job – the Boeing 777X and the Airbus A350ULR.

And now, in response to Project Sunrise, a nod to the Double Sunrise flights operated by Qantas across the Indian Ocean in WWII, where they remained airborne long enough to see two sunrises, Boeing is rising to the very ambitious occasion.

Joyce’s challenge pitted the Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long range) against the Boeing 777-8X, and it seems Boeing is the first to respond.

Per Australian AviationBoeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President and Chief Project Engineer for the 777X program, Michael Teal, said they were working with Qantas to understand its requirements.

“The good thing about getting in on it early with Qantas and their request is really to understand their fleet requirements and the market demands,” Teal said during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, per AA.

“If you look at the exact airplane we have on paper today, which is not at firm configuration, it falls short of all their desires but exceeds many of their desires. What we are doing today is looking at what knobs we can twist.

“We are highly motivated to participate with them on Project Sunrise and make sure that the aircraft offering we have will meet their needs.”

The 777-8X is still in development and yet to reach firm configuration, however the Boeing website lists the aircraft as having a range of 8,700nm and a passenger capacity of 350-375 passengers, with the aircraft expected to enter service in 2022.

It already boasts new advancements including new, more powerful engines, new composite wings with folding wingtips, and in-cabin enhancements like more overhead storage space and a wider cross section.

The GE9X engine is due to begin flight tests on General Electric’s flying testbed before the end of the year.

Per AA, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President and General Manager for the 777X program, Eric Lindblad, said he “expected the 777-8X to have a “greater customer base than what you see in the 777-200LR”.

“We also expect that the -9 to be our top seller and the -8 will just fit inside of the fleet architecture that various of our customers want.”

Qantas has also hinted that Cape Town, South Africa and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are on the horizon for additional direct, long-haul flights.

Currently, the world’s longest route by distance is Qatar Airways’ Doha-Auckland service at 7,848nm, operated by Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.

Latest News

  • Aviation
  • Products

Luxury fashion house Missoni adds amenity kit to Delta One experience

Italian luxury fashion house Missoni will soon be part of the Delta One experience with a new customer amenity kit. Missoni – a brand well known for its creative use of colors and patterns – will elevate Delta One with the new amenity kit and top-of-the-line details woven into key touchpoints throughout the Delta One […]

  • Cruise

Viking Cruises special 8-day cruise rate

Viking cruises is providing a special offer on its 8-day Rhine Getaway itinerary for November 2024 departures with a strictly limited basis. The cruise takes guests out to discover the charm of old-world Europe as they sail through Netherlands, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The itinerary includes visits the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, and medieval towns […]

  • Cruise

Variety Cruises launches “Sell Three, Sail Free in Tahiti” promotion for travel advisors

The family-run, small-ship cruising company, Variety Cruises, has introduced an incentive for travel advisors booking holidays on the company’s Tahiti and French Polynesia cruises. To win a free cruise for two people, the promotion requires advisors to sell three cabins on Variety itineraries in Tahiti booked by 15 September, 2024 and through to 30 April, […]

  • Cruise

Viking is gold sponsor of 2024 Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival, presented by Palace Cinemas via Val Morgan Cinema

Viking has announced it will be a gold sponsor of the 2024 Saxo Scandinavian Film Festival presented by Palace Cinemas via Val Morgan Cinema. The festival, now in its 10th year, showcases the best Nordic contemporary cinema from international film festivals including Göteborg, Cannes and Berlin. The sponsorship provides Viking with the opportunity to connect […]

  • Hotels

The Dorchester rooms and suites

The Dorchester has unveiled additional rooms and suites with a new butler program to enhance guest experience, marking another milestone in its renovation. The portfolio of the world’s foremost luxury hotels and residences, Dorchester Collection, has refurbished room interiors to continue its commitment to reinvent tradition. The Dorchester’s interiors, re-envisioned by interior design firm Pierre-Yves […]

  • Events

Bastille Festival 2024

Residents and travellers can immerse themselves in the vibrant spirit of France as Bastille Festival Sydney returns with a jam-packed program to ignite the Paris Olympic spirit. The annual four-day celebration brings the spirit of France to the heart of Sydney in honour of French Bastille Day. It commemorates two significant events in French history: […]

  • Aviation

Air Astana donates upcycled aircraft furniture to Almaty Airport

The Air Astana ‘Upcycling for the Future’ project involves the creative recycling of used aircraft parts, with furniture having been previously exhibited at various locations across Almaty since 2022.   The aim of the Air Astana project is to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact. Air Astana Group is the largest airline group in Central […]

  • Conferences
  • Travel Agents

New Zealand’s biggest business event marks Matariki

Matariki, the Māori New Year has been celebrated at a spectacular event for MEETINGS 2024 buyers at Rotorua Airport last night (Wednesday, 19 June). RotoruaNZ Business Events and Coast Group presented a special dinner with supporting partners Rotorua Airport, Terrace Catering, Event Impressions and The Production Agency. The evening featured a stunning 12-minute light and […]

  • Tour Operators

Albatross Tours’ feeling Festive as it guarantees remaining places for Christmas 2024 tours

European tour specialists, Albatross Tours, has guaranteed every tour for Christmas 2024 is a goer. “The Albatross festive program has established itself as a real favourite for Australian travellers. We have a fabulous choice of Christmas market locations – Berlin, Dresden, Prague and Ljubljana are just a few,” managing director Shelley Poten said. The all-inclusive […]