Project Sunrise: Qantas plans to have the world’s longest flights

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(CNN) – Qantas has taken an important step towards launching Project Sunrise, a long-term goal of establishing direct flights between Australia and the cities of New York and London.

The airline has placed an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s planes, with the hope that the ultra-long-haul route could be operational in 2025.

In all, each plane will have a total of 238 seats, the lowest number for any Airbus A350 currently in service. Those seats are spread across four service classes – first class, business class, premium economy and economy.

Comfort is essential, as these flights will be clocked at the 19-hour mark, making them the longest non-stop flights in the world.

The rendering for the plane’s interiors gives some clues as to what Qantas is planning for passengers on board.

Pictures of the first class cabin also show separate beds, armchairs and closets.

Meanwhile, the least expensive economy class seats will have a pitch of 33 inches, compared to the average of 30-31 inches for most carriers.

The “Wellbeing Zones” will use the communal areas of the plane to store healthy snacks and drinks as well as provide a place for tourists to get up and pull.

All first class cabins in the Qantas custom plane will have beds.

All first class cabins in the Qantas custom plane will have beds.

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A dream years in construction

The Australian national flag carrier has kept secret its goal of operating direct flights between Melbourne and Sydney in Australia and between New York City and London.

Kantas called the project “Project Sunrise.” The name was inspired by the secret flights of World War II en route from Perth to Sri Lanka to London. They were full of fear, and for a long time they saw two sunrises.

“For over 100 years, Qantas has been at the forefront of changing the way the world travels, especially through direct flights,” Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Group, said in a statement.

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“Now, the A350 and Project Sunrise will be the only flight away from Australia to almost any city in the world. It is the last border and the final fix for the distance tyranny that has traditionally challenged Australian travel.”

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In 2019, the airline conducted a series of test flights from Sydney to New York City and from Sydney to London as an experiment.

The crew and passengers on board monitored their health during the trip to see how such a long flight could affect future flyers. Tracking devices monitor sleep patterns, activity cycles, food and beverage consumption and other data.

Like many travel projects around the world, Sunrise was derailed by a coronavirus epidemic.

Last year, the CEO told CNN’s Richard Quest that “once we’re done (upgrading Qantas’ local fleet), which we will do in early 2022, we will revisit Sunrise and the first aircraft is likely to arrive somewhere like 2024 or 2025, delayed.” Seeing. “

An onboard "Wellbeing zone" Provide passengers with access to healthy snacks and fitness videos.

The onboard “Wellbeing Zone” will give passengers access to healthy snacks and fitness videos.

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What happens next

Although the first project Sunrise Flights is still years away, Qantas has already started thinking about expanding its ultra-long-distance offerings.

The airline has confirmed that Paris and Frankfurt are also being considered for future direct flights once the New York City and London routes are established.

In 2019, Qantas also included the city of Brisbane as the Eastern Australia hub for these flights, but it is unclear whether the project is part of the Sunrise plan.

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