Qantas Orders 12 Aircraft for Non-Stop Flights to Australia

May 2, 2022

Sydney — Australia's flagship carrier Qantas has ordered 12 aircraft which will enable it to run non-stop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to cities including New York and London from late 2025.The airline said Monday it ordered 12 Airbus A350-1000s "to conquer the final frontier of long-haul travel." The planned non-stop flights will "cut up to four hours off total travel time compared with one-stop options today.

"Qantas said the first flights of the long-range service, dubbed Project Sunrise, will connect New York and London to Australia's east coast, but the aircraft will also be able to operate non-stop flights from locations such as Paris and Frankfurt.

"The A350 and Project Sunrise will make almost any city in the world just one flight away from Australia," Qantas boss Alan Joyce said in a statement. "It's the last frontier and the final fix for the tyranny of distance that has traditionally challenged travel to Australia.

"Qantas also announced the renewal of its narrow body jets, saying it would gradually retire its Boeing 737s and 717s and replace them with Airbus A321XLRs and A220-300s.The first of the 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 20 A220-300s it ordered will begin to arrive in late 2023, the airline said, adding that the order also includes "purchase right options for another 94 aircraft for delivery through to at least 2034.""All of these next generation aircraft - through their lower emissions, longer range, less noise and better economics - will improve how people travel around Australia and overseas," Joyce said.

The carrier had announced plans to launch commercial flights connecting the Australian east coast cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with New York and London by 2022, but the project was stalled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have come through the other side of the pandemic a structurally different company," Joyce said.

"Our domestic market share is higher and the demand for direct international flights is even stronger than it was before COVID.

"The Qantas boss said that the decision by the company's board to approve "the largest aircraft order in Australian aviation" was a "clear vote of confidence in the future of the Qantas Group.

"The carrier meanwhile reported revenue growth in the third quarter, driven by a "sustained recovery in travel demand as Australia transitions to living with COVID." It maintained its forecast for underlying earnings of between 450-550 million Australian dollars (317-387 million US dollars) in the second half of fiscal 2022.In 2019, the carrier successfully completed a non-stop test flight between London and Sydney and a record-breaking ultra-long haul between New York and Sydney.

The 17,750-kilometre London-to-Sydney test flight took 19 hours and 19 minutes, which it ran on a repurposed Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The 16,200-kilometre test flight between New York and Sydney took 19 hours and 16 minutes.

The company began operating non-stop 17-hour flights from Perth to London in 2017.

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