Qantas to test non-stop flights to London and New York
Qantas to test non-stop flights to London and New York.Photo: . Pictures may be protected by copyright.
Qantas will fly 120 staff and medical experts on the world's longest non-stop route from Australia to London and New York to study the impact ultra-long-haul trips have on passengers and crew.
Qantas will fly 120 staff and medical experts on the world's longest non-stop route from Australia to London and New York to study the impact ultra-long-haul trips have on passengers and crew. The iconic Australian airline will use re-purposed Boeing 787-9 delivery flights for the 19-hour research journeys scheduled for October, November and December this year. The flights are part of Qantas's plans to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York. Qantas revealed the plans for the research trips as part of its full-year profit report. The carrier reported revenue of $17.97 billion for the 12 months to June 30. Its underlying pre-tax profit took a hit by a $614 million increase in fuel costs from higher oil prices. Each flight will have 40 people on board to minimise weight and allow for the necessary fuel range. Charles Perkins Centre scientists and medical experts will monitor sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting, physical movement and inflight entertainment of those on the flights. "People in the cabin – mostly Qantas employees – will be fitted with wearable technology devices and take part in specific experiences at varying stages of the approximately 19-hour flights," Qantas said in a statement. Qantas has already conducted data on passenger sleep strategies on its direct Perth–London service, and some of these initial findings will be assessed further as part of these dedicated research flights. Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce labelled the flights as the "final frontier in aviation". "We're determined to all the groundwork to get this right," he said in the statement. Qantas pilots will collect the Boeing 787-9s from Boeing's factory in Seattle, where they will be flown to their starting points of New York for two of the flights and London for one flight. Cabins will be fully fitted out and otherwise ready to enter normal commercial service.