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what Qantas promises to passengers on the longest flight in the world

what Qantas promises to passengers on the longest flight in the world

radiant day for Airbus, which signed Monday, May 2 in Sydney a contract for the acquisition of 146 aircraft by the company Qantas. These aircraft are intended to replace its entire fleet, operating domestic flights over the next ten years.

To the some four billion euros that this contract will bring in, is added the prestige of supplying 12 Airbus A350-1000s which will ensure from 2025 the longest flight in the world. A 20-hour journey linking Sydney to London and New York non-stop. To the detriment of the American competitor Boeing, whose 787 Dreamliner was not selected.

Beyond the economic aspect – this is the biggest contract signed by Qantas since its creation 101 years ago -, there is also the aeronautical achievement: never will a regular flight with a passenger last so long. This very long haul of nearly 20 hours between the British capital and Sydney in Australia therefore beats the existing regular connections by several minutes. Singapore Airlines currently operates the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight between Singapore and New York, which takes approximately 19 hours.

As part of its “Project Sunrise”, the Australian company carried out test flights for long-haul flights in 2019, including a 17,750 kilometer London-Sydney test flight, which lasted 19 hours and 19 minutes. .. and some 101 tons of kerosene. The same year, a test flight New York-Sydney 16,200 km long lasted just over 19 hours. Four pilots had then taken turns at the controls during the flight. The new aircraft – powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 turbofan engines, designed to be 25% more fuel efficient than the previous generation of aircraft – would reduce emissions by at least 15% if it ran on fossil fuels, and more so if it used sustainable aviation fuel, he said.

Qantas chairman, Alan Joyce, assures us that “any city (will be) just one flight from Australia” and to affirm that “This is the final frontier and the final solution against the tyranny of distance“This ultra-long-haul flight, however, requires some adaptations: first, Airbus will add an additional fuel tank, essential for a non-stop flight of 17,000 km. And then there is the comfort on board. “As you would expect, the cabin is specially designed for maximum comfort for long-haul flights“slipped the president. First class passengers will thus have the luxury of sleeping in a real bed and will be able to benefit from a reclining chair and a wardrobe.

But as Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas, reminded us, those who travel in economy class will not be forgotten: “There will be a wellness area on the plane. A dedicated area where people can exercise and hydrate. This is an area that we believe is very important for passengers on these very long-haul flights. .” For this, it was necessary to remove seats, there will only be 238, a hundred less than what is usually found on this type of flight. But the boss assures him: the spacing between the seats will be the largest on the market.

It also remains to be determined how the pilots will cope with fatigue during these particularly long trips: at the start of the year, an internal Qantas study revealed that pilots of the Australian airline who have flown little or not at all for almost two years of health crisis, seem to have lost some of their reflexes. During the experimental flights, the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), the union which represents the company’s pilots, was also concerned about whether the pilots’ rest time during this flight was of sufficient quality for their performance to remain optimal, requiring a “long-term scientific studyon the impact of these flights on the crews.

Finally, the luxury of this trip will, of course, be a little more expensive than a classic flight with a stopover. “There will be a small additional cost for this direct flight but the prices in economy class will remain very close to our current prices”, explains the CEO of Qantas. It therefore foresees departures not only from Sydney, but also from Melbourne and even Brisbane in the years to come. And he can be optimistic: since 2018, Qantas has been operating a 17-hour direct flight between Perth and London. A connection which is the most profitable of the network for the Australian company.

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