Qantas to fly direct to London, Paris, NY by 2022: Joyce

Qantas to fly direct to London, Paris, NY by 2022: Joyce

Off the back of its second highest financial results in Qantas’ history, CEO Alan Joyce has gone and promised some seriously exciting stuff.

“Customer satisfaction and employee engagement are at record levels,” Joyce said.

“And, because we’re in a strong position, we have some exciting announcements about what’s next for the Qantas Group.”

Joyce reminisced that Qantas has gone from doing outback mail runs in the 1920s to carrying 50 million people each year today; from stopping seven times on the way to London in 1947 to stopping just once by the 1990s.

“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.

“We want to offer direct flights to Europe not only from Perth but from the eastern states as well.

“That’s why I’m pleased to announce that Qantas will challenge Boeing and Airbus to deliver an aircraft capable of flying regular direct services like Sydney-London, Brisbane-Paris and Melbourne-New York non-stop with a full payload by 2022.

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

Joyce said these direct flights shave off as many as four hours off a journey to London, removing the need to stop mid-way, and creating uninterrupted journeys.

“[There are] less chance for delays on the ground; more time watching movies and sleeping. And a faster trip door to door.

“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.

“This would be one of the most strategically important aircraft orders in the history of Qantas.”

Joyce announced there’s a lot of work to scope this plan, naming it ‘Project Sunrise’, which is a nod to the Double Sunrise flights operated by Qantas across the Indian Ocean in WWII.

They remained airborne long enough to see two sunrises in what was an incredible feat of endurance given the technology of the day.

Speaking to Qantas’ other initiatives, off the back of their $1.4 billion underlying profit before tax, Joyce also revealed a few other focuses for the airline.

“Aviation is a competitive business. We take nothing for granted and we have no intention of being complacent,” he said.

“The first Qantas Dreamliner is taking shape on the Boeing production line and we’re in countdown mode for its October arrival.

“Today, we announce several more improvements to the customer experience.

“Our existing fleet of Airbus A380s will receive a major cabin upgrade from 2019 onwards.”

To read more on the cabin upgrades, we’ve revealed all here.

“The new Melbourne lounges will join what’s already under construction at both ends of the landmark Perth-London route next year, and follows on from our impressive new lounges in Brisbane,” Joyce said.

“Our investment in free inflight Wi-Fi will ramp up from September, as we finish what has been a successful trial and move to an accelerated rollout to our domestic A330s and 737s.

“Jetstar is adding new routes to its network, like Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh and Adelaide to Hobart. Jetstar also started a refresh of its A320s cabins. And it keeps delivering on its mission of more low fares. In the past year, 24 million seats were sold on Jetstar for less than $100.

“This is the kind of pioneering spirit that the national carrier is built on. And it’s the kind of spirit that we want to take us forward.”

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