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20. September 2017
Qantas has revealed plans for the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight. The Australian national airline announced its intentions to offer 20-hour non-stop flights from Sydney to London by 2022, so long as aircraft manufacturing giants Airbus or Boeing can deliver an aircraft that is capable of going the distance.
The airline also plans to launch a non-stop route to New York from Sydney that would take 18 hours, while 17-hour non-stop Perth-London flights will commence from March 2018.
Although being holed up on a plane for almost an entire day comes with its downsides, this new so-called kangaroo route would be the quickest in the route’s 70-year history and would save passengers a good amount of time by forgoing the stopover that is currently needed for planes to refuel.
At this moment in time, London to Sydney takes about 24 hours, including a stopover – four hours longer than the projected non-stop flight time. Travellers between Sydney and New York stand to save about three hours compared to the current 21-hour flight time.
By slating these new flights for 2022, Qantas has thrown down the gauntlet to Airbus and Boeing and challenged them to equip their next-generation aircraft currently under development — Airbus’ A350ULR and Boeing’s 777X — with the range to make these non-stop flights possible.
And both manufacturers are confident of supplying the airline with new aircraft that fit the bill, although neither has released specific details as of yet.
Airlines have been attempting to outdo each other when it comes ultra-long-haul flights for a time. Earlier this year, Qatar Airways took the crown for the world’s longest flight, with a flight that travels 9,032 miles from its home base in Doha to Auckland, New Zealand, taking 17 hours and 30 minutes.