Sydney, Australia - Australian flag carrier Qantas has selected rival Airbus's A350-1000 as its workhorse for its ultra-long flights. No agreement has yet been signed, but according to CEO Alan Joyce, Qantas will place an order for 12 A350-1000.
Qantas has been studying on Project Sunrise for years. The feasibility of non-stop flights over very long distances, such as the Sydney - New York route and Sydney - London, is examined.
The carrier conducted a series of test flights on which, on which lots of data collected and evaluated, including the physical and mental well-being of the passengers.
According to Qantas boss Alan Joyce, the Australian company will decide by March 2020 whether such long flights will be offered or not. If so, the A350-1000s will be ordered to operate those flights.
Qantas currently operates Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners on its long-haul routes.
The planes will get additional fuel tanks and new cabin configuration to fly on the planned routes. Qantas aims to make the cabins as comfortable as possible for passengers during these 21-hour flights.
If the business plan is approved, the ultra-long flights are planned to begin in 2023.