Historic London-Sydney non-stop flight lands after 19 hrs

Boeing Project Sunrise

Qantas has completed the second of three Project Sunrise long-haul research flights, after a Boeing 787-9 landed in Sydney after a non-stop flight from London.

Before starting the ultra long-haul services, which Qantas calls Project Sunrise, the airline needs new aircraft that can carry a full payload.

Joyce said frequent flyers on both flights, which the airline hopes will be precursors to regular non-stop flights from eastern Australia to NY and London, had been extremely positive about the experience.

"But the intention is to make a decision this year and an order could follow into early next year".

Qantas' non-stop flight from London to Sydney lands.

The brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner left Heathrow at around 6am local time on Thursday and touched down in Sydney at 12.28pm on Friday.

The research flight, which follows a non-stop NY to Sydney flight last month, is aimed at improving crew and passenger wellbeing on ultra long-haul services.

The project has been named Sunrise, after Qantas' "double sunrise" endurance flights during WWII which saw two sunrises while in the air.

Qantas has been considering an order for either an ultra-long range version of Airbus SE's A350-1000 or the Boeing Co 777-8, although the latter plane's entry into service has been delayed and so Boeing has put together an alternative offer to deal with that.

While there were people who "look sideways" at a long flights, more people were willing to take a flight that was 18 hours or more simply because they just want to get to the destination with fewer hassles.

Those on board were mostly Qantas employees fitted with monitors to track sleep patterns, food and drink intake, lighting and physical movement.

Mark Sedgwick, the president of the Australian and International Pilots Association representing Qantas pilots, said more research would be needed to inform broader fatigue-management plans.

Airlines can charge a premium for non-stop flights and, while they were working hard to innovate, Thomas says for most passengers the flights were something to get through.

"We're doing this because it's the responsible thing to do", Alan Joyce said in a statement, calling climate change concerns "real".

The broader industry has committed to halving emissions by 2050 compared to 2005 levels.

Australia's national carrier is not only the world's oldest continually operating airline, but it also started operating to New Zealand in 1940, the same year Air New Zealand's forerunner, Teal, started.



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