The 12 new Qantas Airbuses for the route would “reduce emissions by at least 15 percent when powered by fossil fuels and significantly better when powered by sustainable aviation fuel.”
Image: Getty Images)
Qantas has promised to launch direct flights from Sydney to London by the end of 2025 in a multi-billion dollar bet that flyers will pay a premium to save four hours on the popular route.
The long-haul Sydney-London flight takes around 20 hours, making it one of the longest in the world.
Qantas already offers a direct 17-hour flight between London and Perth and the company has now ordered 12 new Airbus aircraft, providing non-stop services to the UK and US.
The long-discussed breakthrough will give the airline a marketing boost on what has long been dubbed the “kangaroo route,” where all flights have had to hop and stop somewhere to refuel.
It would also “reduce emissions by at least 15 percent when powered by fossil fuels, and significantly better when powered by sustainable aviation fuel,” according to CEO Alan Joyce.
The Qantas boss described the move as “the final frontier and final solution to the tyranny of distance”.
He added: “The A350 and Project Sunrise put every city within one flight of Australia.
“This order brings us closer to our commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”
The flights will use A350-1000 aircraft, specially configured with additional premium seating and reduced overall capacity to carry up to 238 passengers on the 20-hour journey.
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Competitors offering one-stop services include Singapore Airlines Ltd, Emirates and Qatar Airways.
However, high fuel costs and low cabin density mean a significant revenue premium is required to make Qantas’ non-stop flights profitable.
The airline did not say what it would charge.
Announcing plans for the service on Monday, Qantas said a strong recovery in the domestic market and signs of improvement in international flying following the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic had given it the confidence to make a big investment in its future.
The airline forecasts a return to profitability for the fiscal year beginning in July.
“Since the beginning of the calendar year, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in demand,” said Mr. Joyce.
Qantas shares closed down three percent at their highest level since November, after they also said debt had fallen to pre-pandemic levels faster than the market expected.
Airbus shares fell 1 percent in early trading.
The A350-1000 order was the culmination of a challenge called Project Sunrise set in 2017 for Airbus and competitor Boeing Co to develop aircraft capable of record-breaking flights.
Getty Images for Qantas)
Airbus was selected as the preferred supplier in late 2019, but Qantas delayed the order by two years due to financial issues during the pandemic.
The Qantas aircraft will carry passengers in four classes and will seat about 100 fewer than rivals British Airways and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. in their A350-1000.
The Australian airline will reserve more than 40 percent of the seats in premium classes.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/qantas-launch-20-hour-flights-26851187 Qantas launches 20-hour non-stop flights from Sydney to London - World News