Qantas New 20 Hour Flight Will Set New World Record
Qantas Airways is preparing to launch the world’s longest non-stop flight. The Australian airline has ordered 12 Airbus A350-1000 jets, as part of a $4 billion deal, which are designed for long-haul flights.
Qantas Airways will fly non-stop from Sydney to London after ordering the special Airbus jets. The new route is expected to be launched late in 2025. The aircraft are specially configured with extra premium seating and reduced overall capacity of 238 passengers. The 20-hour trip would be the world’s longest direct commercial flight, Reuters reports.
“Since the start of the calendar year, we have seen huge increases in demand,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said during a reception Monday at Sydney Airport, where an Airbus A350-1000 test plane with the Qantas logo in the background.
Qantas said a strong recovery in the domestic market and signs of an improvement in international flying after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic had given it the confidence to make a major investment in its future.
Reuters reports that the Airbus order also includes 40 narrowbody A321XLR and A220 jets to start the replacement of Qantas’s ageing domestic fleet, with deliveries spread over a decade.
The A350-1000 order was the culmination of a challenge called Project Sunrise set for Airbus and rival Boeing Co in 2017 to create aircraft capable of the record-breaking flights. The Australian carrier will dedicate more than 40% of seating to premium classes to make these flights feasible.