Qantas plans to use the latest B787-9 Dreamliner to connect Australia and Britain non-stop by 2017.
Chief executive, Alan Joyce, told Air Transport World the new aircraft “opens up direct service from Australia to Europe for the first time”. He indicated that the obvious choice would be a flight between Perth and Heathrow.
The go ahead has been given for an ultra long range (ULR) version of the A350-900 for SIA, for the express purpose of re-launching non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles, or to Newark, for New York City. SIA used to operate the route with an A340 but the four-engined plane proved too expensive in fuel consumption.
The Qantas proposal to launch non-stop Perth- London service is more relevant to the Australian market. A report in London’s Independent says the Australian airline is understood to have leased slots at Heathrow to British Airways, “which could be reclaimed for the new service”.
Two pairs of pilots would be required for the flight, plus extra cabin crew. The B787 will be fitted with a crew rest area above the passenger cabin.
Qantas holds the current record for the world’s longest flight. Its daily Dallas-Fort Worth to Sydney service lasts 17 hours.
Various other monstrously long flights are in the pipeline. See: New contender emerges for world’s-longest-route crown
Written by Peter Needham