Qantas: non-stop Sydney, Melbourne to London, New York by 2022

Qantas: non-stop Sydney, Melbourne to London, New York by 2022

Qantas wants to begin non-stop flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to London, New York, Paris and Rio by 2022 – provided it can convince Airbus or Boeing to develop an ultra-long range jet capable of conquering the 18 to 20-hour direct routes.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce formally launched the ambitious initiative at today's declaration of the airline’s 2017 financial results, where the airline listed a pre-tax profit of $1.4 billion – the second largest in its history.

While Airbus and Boeing are already working on range-topping jetliners in the form of the Airbus A350-900ULR and Boeing 777-8X, Joyce noted they still fall short of making direct flights from Australia’s east coast capitals to London and New York "with passengers and luggage at full capacity."

The aircraft manufacturers will be challenged to push the envelope in technology, design and engineering, with the longest-legged jet slotting in alongside the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner in the vanguard of Qantas’ international fleet.

For its part, Qantas is already crunching the numbers on up to a decade of real-world weather patterns on these routes to identify optimal fuel-saving flight paths for a world in which a transit stopovers would no longer be necessary.

For example, news agency Reuters suggests that flights between Australia's east coast capitals and  London would follow a "northern polar route" – which although longer than the conventional Asia/Europe corridor boasts "the benefit of strong tailwinds rather than fierce headwinds".

From A to B with more Zzzz 

It’s estimated that passengers on a non-stop version of today’s QF1 flight from Sydney to London would be in the air for 20 hours and 20 minutes – a saving of almost four hours compared to the total journey time of today’s route via Dubai.

Similarly, a non-stop flight from Sydney to New York would take just over 18 hours, shaving almost three hours off the total travel time when flying via Los Angeles.

Although Qantas will talk up the savings in time and convenience provided by skipping such stop-overs, for many passengers it’s also about a more contiguous journey with the chance for longer uninterrupted periods of sleep.

That’s certainly the expectation of Singapore Airlines, which will restart non-stop flights to New York and Los Angeles next year as the global launch customer for the Airbus A350-900ULR.

"When you actually measure the total time (between Singapore and New York) – let’s say you transit through Frankfurt – there’s not much of a difference (between non-stop and transit)," Mr Tan Pee Teck, Singapore Airlines' Senior Vice President for Product & Services, previously told Australian Business Traveller of the direct route.

"The only thing is that you can have a longer sleep – instead of 13 hours and then (another) 7 hours, you’d fly non-stop."

The A350-900ULR came about as a result of a campaign by Singapore Airlines which tasked Airbus and Boeing to deliver a jet with the necessary range to resume LA and New York flights.

Airbus achieved this by modifying the standard A350-900 with additional fuel capacity and engineering tweaks, although it also relied on reducing the passenger count to around 170 seats, compared to 253 in SQ's standard A350-900.

It's understood that Qantas is wary of sacrificing too many seats in its quest for a longer-legged jetliner.

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

66 comments

  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    25 Aug, 2017 02:04 am

    I wonder if this is a just a publicity exercise for the time being. If demand for the direct PER-LHR flights is consistently high, then it may work. But direct flights to London and NYC are risky. If you can't consistently fill the plane, it may not be viable.
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    AgentGerko

  • FLX

    FLX1

    25 Aug, 2017 12:08 pm

    alex_upgrade77:
    "wonder if this is a just a publicity exercise for the time being.."
    Partially agree.  It is a bit odd.

    Per history of the airline industry, it's very rare to announce plan for a new route(e.g. SYD-JFK by QF) with a target date(e.g. 2022 by QF) WITHOUT settling on the exact type to deliver such flight.  This is even more striking when no one has ever tried such route b4 mainly because no type has the payload/range performance+economics to do it.

    On the other hand, this announcement does represent by far the most serious commitment by QF to launch SYD-LHR/JFK nonstop over the past 2 decades when QF started toying around with that idea since the Geoff Dixon days....
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  • Dredgy

    Dredgy

    25 Aug, 2017 08:51 pm

    Demand from Australia to London is consistently high, there's a reason there's so much competition on the kangaroo route. New York also very high demand.

    Loads won't be a problem, even if there's a significant price premium. Things like volatility in fuel prices pose more of a risk.
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    25 Aug, 2017 10:54 pm

    The point of the comment will be to apply pressure to Boeing and Airbus - AJ is basically saying to them: "whoever can develop such an aircraft first will get the contract."
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    29 Aug, 2017 06:20 pm

    @John Phelan:
    "AJ is basically saying to them: "whoever can develop such an aircraft first will get the contract."

    Partially agree.  My version of AJ's underlying coded msg to A&B:
    "Whoever is willing to develop a new, slightly modified variant of 359ULR or 778 as close as possible to our targeted specs(i.e. 300pax+bags for 20hrs block time) and deliver by 2022 will get our contract."

    Winner of this contract won't necessarily be the 1st   committed to develop such aircraft for QF....as long as delivery can be 2022, no diff for QF between 1st and 2nd bidder.  In contrast, winner will be the 1 with a design specs closest to the targeted specs of QF.

    AJ has no illusion.  He knows neither Airbus nor Boeing will launch a new completely clean-sheet design just for potentially an order of ultimately 15-20 frames(under the most wildly optimistic growth scenario) for QF.  AJ knows the best QF can get will still be a slightly tweaked variant of either the 359ULR or 778 already in development for yrs for other customers.
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    25 Aug, 2017 07:18 am

    The biggest risk is that both Airbus and Boeing may say it just isn't worth developing such a plane.  Who, apart from Qantas will be interested?  Unless you can sell 200+, it will be a loss making investment.  Both have already lost significant sums on the A345 and 77L. They may not have the stomach for such a risk when the real sweet spot at the moment seems to be longer range single aisle jets

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  • Jedinak K

    Jedinak K

    25 Aug, 2017 08:05 am

    I agree, developing a whole new jet or making extensive modifications can be risky to both companies if they are only servicing one airline. They will either need to find more customers to get a business case,  or make cost efficient changes to the currently developing A350/B777x models.  An A350-1000ULR jet would be interesting if they reconfigure the fuel tanks like they did with the A350-900ULR.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    25 Aug, 2017 02:50 pm

    @Jedinak K:
    100% certain whatever QF will deploy for SYD-LHR/JFK won't be a "whole new jet"(i.e. clean sheet design with little in common with any other type) in 2022.  Not only Airbus/Boeing unwilling to make huge investment for such a tiny niche of extreme-ULH, QF itself wouldn't want a new type in which less than 100 frames(based on historic production total for 77L+345...the last duo closest to the 18-20hrs endurance mark) would ever be built for all conceivable potential airline customers worldwide....the maintenance support network+residual mkt value over & beyond a typical 20-25yrs airframe lifespan would be a nightmare for QF.

    Whatever QF will get in 2022 will either be:
    a) Exactly what 359ULR/778 is already defined today by Airbus/Boeing for all customers....i.e. QF hv to adjust their targeted requirements.

    or

    b) A slight tweak/mod to a) in order to create a new sub-variant which require very modest Airbus/Boeing investment and more importantly, vast parts-number commonality with a).....i.e. this will be very close to or match QF requirements. 1st prototype for neither 359ULR nor 778 has been built yet and typically, a new type contains @ least a bit of unexplored performance upgrade potential upon initial type certification(scheduled in 2018 for 359ULR and 2021 for 778).

    "They will either need to find more customers to get a business case."
    I would be very surprised if the sales teams @ Airbus & Boeing hv not thoroughly done this exercise already since launch of 778 in Nov2013 and 359ULR in Oct2015.  QF's requirements for a 18-20hrs endurance airplane is not a secret revealed only now by this announcement and not that many potential customers(likely less than a dozen including QF) exist worldwide which require a new 18-20hrs endurance airliner....and the sales team already had nearly 2-4yrs to sell.  If there're more customers for such a new 359ULR/778 variant wanted by QF, Airbus/Boeing would hv found them by now...more time wouldn't help that quest.

    "A350-1000ULR jet would be interesting if they reconfigure the fuel tanks like they did with the A350-900ULR."
    Interesting but technically not possible to do it the same way.

    The way Airbus reconfigured 359 tank to make the 359ULR is to basically 'copy' the existing tank config on the 35K.  There's no other 350 variant remain for the 35K to 'copy' and become a 35KULR.  Besides, range for the 35K is not really limited by tankage...it has room to accommodate more belly tank(not the wing tanks though).  The biggest limiting factors are its wing size and/or thrust not sufficient to lift even more fuel than currently possible.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    25 Aug, 2017 09:03 pm

    The need for new engines raises the interesting question of the forthcoming Rolls Royce Advance engine (about then) which may enable the A350-1000 to lift that extra fuel without a new wing, which airbus would not do.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    29 Aug, 2017 07:16 pm

    @patrickk:
    "Rolls Royce Advance engine (about then) which may enable the A350-1000 to lift that extra fuel.."

    Which will hv nothing to do with this specific RFP(Request for Proposal) fm QF because of these facts:
    1.  QF wants delivery by End 2022 latest.  This means 1st test flight on a '35K Neo' must be done by End2021.  This leaves the Advance, still in experimental stage today, with less than 4yrs of development+cert test even if RR+Airbus somehow commit to launch both a 35K Neo AND the Advance by End2017.  That's really tight timing if U recall  how long it took RR to only tweak the Trent1000 into the  Trent7000....and unlike T7000, Advance is a cleansheet design.

    2.  The current 35K+TrentXWB combo is not yet certified and not due to enter service until Nov2017 @ the earliest.  Also, only 212 units hv been sold.  Highly unlikely Airbus & RR will splash even more cash to launch a 35K Neo+Advance in 2019 or even 2020(let alone End2017) when 35K+TrentXWB is still so early in their lifecycle.

    3.  RR has repeatedly made it clear that:
    a) Advance is a suite of future tech and won't form a stand alone RR engine program.
    b) Advance will only be launched when combined with RR's UltraFan suite of tech which is now in an even earlier experimental stage/less mature than Advance.  As of today, it's unrealistic to expect UltraFan to leave experimental stage and enter maturity development+cert phase by RR before 2020.

    Pretty obvious that your theoretical 35K Neo+Advance will miss AJ's 2022 party.
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  • Trogdor

    Trogdor

    25 Aug, 2017 08:39 am

    If Qantas want to start the flights in 5 years time, that pretty much limits the scope of any modifications that Airbus or Boeing could perform down to HGW versions of standard models.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    25 Aug, 2017 07:18 am

    The gamble is also on fuel prices. If they are high the cost of carrying the extra fuel may outweigh a stop. Despite AJs comment about sacrificing passengers they will have to do so just as they do on most occasions on the Dallas Sydney A380 leg, And as they permanently do with the low seat numbers on the 789. 
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  • Packetman21

    Packetman21

    25 Aug, 2017 08:56 am

    This would be amazing, however, is it viable for Boeing/Airbus and Qantas?

    For the aicraft makers, they need to sell a good amount of planes for it to be worth the risk. At the moment, Qantas is the only one that wants these planes.

    For Qantas, is it worth investing in the money for these planes. They would have to be unbelievebly efficient to make these routes work. Is it viable? Will customers prefer non-stop? 20 hours in a long thin tube, if you think realistically, unless if you got a good deal of space, you will not be the happiest chappy. And, fuel prices are going to have to rise soon. Where will they deploy these planes if it is not viable?

    It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.
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  • Newbie7

    Newbie7

    25 Aug, 2017 09:19 am

    I'm also curious about crew - what's the limit for one crew to work a flight right now, and how much (if any) does taking a few hours off in the crew rest allow for extending their total work hours? I feel like 20hrs + would mean they may need a much larger crew rest and an entire substitute crew? And even if they didn't, I'm sure they'd have to rest them for multiple days on either end, which could add up on the hotel costs too rather than switching out crew more efficiently at a middle stop point.

    Be interesting to see how QF can make these routes economically viable.
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  • GregXL

    GregXL

    26 Aug, 2017 12:40 am

    I don't know what the thresholds are, but I do know that the long haul 787 flights to LAX and LHR will have 4 pilots: Captain, First Officer, Cruise Captain and Second Officer.  The Captain and First Officer do the beginning and end of the flight.  
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  • Markspark

    Markspark

    25 Aug, 2017 09:20 am

    Please don't let this be an opportunity for the cynical ABT followers to rant.  This is a bold and achievable anouncement that we should applaud Qantas for making.  I look forward to seeing it happen
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    paclarke

  • Trogdor

    Trogdor

    25 Aug, 2017 10:30 am

    I think most of us would love it to work.

    And it could be a pretty amazing in first / business especially - as there's plenty of opportunity to enjoy the food/entertainment etc.that comes with the experience and still have time for a solid 8 hours sleep and a lazy breakfast when you wake up - given there's no transit stop
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  • mviy

    mviy

    25 Aug, 2017 09:29 am

    This proves what I've been saying for a while that Perth is a stop-gap
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    25 Aug, 2017 10:16 am

    I think they will need three crews on board for 20 hours as against two for the Dallas et al flights.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    25 Aug, 2017 03:19 pm

    @patrickk:
    Not exactly.  U are correct to imply typical longhaul cockpit duty time limit is 8hrs by typical regulation for each crew set of 2 persons.  After maximum 8hrs of flight, crew set #1 must take a rest and crew set #2 take over.

    However, U forgot that crew set #1 can return to duty in the same cockpit after 8hrs of rest inflight and relieve crew set #2.  As a result, U still only need 2 crew sets to operate a flight block time of 20hrs such as SYD->LHR.

    This is why fm a crew cost perspective, a big barrier exists @ 8hrs block time and why the majority of longer LCC routes seem to stay just below 8hrs block times.  Below 8hrs, no more than 1 crew set needed and no need to invest in a crew bunk and/or waste Rev$ seat space.  Beyond 8hrs, U need 2 crew sets and bunks for 1 crew set but requirements does not increase proportionally even if flight block time grows to  beyond 21-22hrs.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    25 Aug, 2017 09:08 pm

    FLX1 I thought it was not that simple and after a point (18hrs or so) more people were required. Maybe not a full third crew but more than a simple 1:1.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    29 Aug, 2017 05:49 pm

    @patrickk:
    It is that simple & practical because despite the 8hrs limit, crew set #1 typically only fly the 1st leg and the 3rd final leg with each lasting well under the 8hrs limit.  E.g. this is a scheduling model of cockpit duty assignment for 2 crew sets on a hypothetical 20hrs block time flight:

    1st leg =0~06h00m elapsed time: Crew set #1 on duty.
    2nd leg =06h01m~14h00m elapsed time: Crew set #2 on duty.
    3rd/final leg =14:01~20:00 elapsed time: Crew set #1 back on duty.

    B.t.w., 1st and 3rd legs are typically flown by the most senior ranking captains/FOs on each flight because they involve the 2 most critical /highest risk /highest workload portions of any flight: Take-off/Climb & Descend/Landing
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  • afloskar

    afloskar

    25 Aug, 2017 10:25 am

    Its good BNE is getting considered
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  • Jazzop

    Jazzop

    25 Aug, 2017 03:13 pm

    Considered, but it unlikely.  QF will likely feed via SYD or LAX for JFK and PER for LHR.
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  • Blair Coull

    Notso Swift

    25 Aug, 2017 10:39 am

    I think the caveat puts this down as a bit of a stunt, you build it and we will buy it.
    While Boeing and Airbus will be saying buy it and we will build it 
    IIRC (probably not) you need fuel for 10% extra distance, maybe if that was changed to (say 1000 km) they would have more hope
    I think LHR could pay, wouldn't be many Economy seats though, they need to keep the weight down and prices high
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    25 Aug, 2017 10:42 am

    It will work if they don't have to adjust the landing gear too much to take the higher weight. Adding more tanks to the A359 worked up to a point but not quite enough for AJ. They might add more tanks to the A350-1000 and see what they can get out of it. That would also keep the seat numbers closer to 300 than 250.
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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    25 Aug, 2017 10:56 am

    JFK is certainly doable in the A350ULR and probably the 777-8 too (although the return trip may be tough, but PER-LHR pushes the 787-9 to the limits and that's viable so...). Its LHR which is the tough one.
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  • mviy

    mviy

    25 Aug, 2017 11:20 am

    QF probably wants to use the same aircraft for both LHR and JFK to minimise the variety of aircraft in its fleet.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    25 Aug, 2017 05:10 pm

    @mviy:
    Frankly, I think that's a certainty and in fact, the only way to justify huge investment to add a brand new family in QF fleet.

    Unlike 330, 787, 747 and 380 already in the QF+JQ fleet, QF has no support infrastructure+experience for any 777 family nor 350 family today.  The Trent XWB on 359ULR or the GE9x on 778 will be a completely unknown quantity for the propulsion maintenance teams @ QF Engineering.

    To illustrate considering total life cycle cost(e.g. investment needed to buy a new type & its associated support infrastructure), it'll probably be easier/cheaper to convert all 787 x35 options+rights held by QF into firm orders than to buy, induct and then support only 10-12 frames of 359ULR or 778....yet AJ still choose the latter, tougher route.

    Just the mere fact that AJ has now gone public about his new route plan in 2022 to be flown with a new aircraft family totally alien to QF is in itself a monumental decision for QF with rippling effects for decades to come.  Geoff Dixon did that in 2005 with the 787 family(basically hedging his bet on the 380 a bit earlier) and 20yrs later by 2025, QF in all likelihood will still be taking 787 deliveries.
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  • David S

    DaveSyd

    25 Aug, 2017 12:08 pm

    Rio is an interesting one! Also if you pause the map in the promo Project Sunrise clip, on the map when it zooms out they also have capetown as a destination on that map with dotted line from east coast of AUS! I wonder why it is not mentioned in promo video but is on that map? All other destinations on that map (Paris, London, New York, Rio) are mentioned?
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  • Orus Picarous

    oruspicarous

    25 Aug, 2017 05:09 pm

    I'm guessing because CPT probably doesn't get enough traffic and many planes in QF fleet are capable of doing this route so I guess it didn't fit with the whole challenge. 
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  • msndelevium

    msndelevium

    25 Aug, 2017 01:03 pm

    Can't wait for QF to call it uneven playing field when they axe the routes upon juice hitting 100/bbl

    ULH flights that long is a nighmare to sustain, be it using a 778 or A359
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  • Craig

    crwilkins

    25 Aug, 2017 01:06 pm

    I think it's a smart move by Qantas, would significantly reduce the impact of the hub airlines (SQ, CX, ME3 etc) as they'd fly right over them, challenges both Airbus and Boeing to be creative and thirdly potentially puts all the pressure on Airbus re the A380 orders and options, if they can't deliver a plane well there's really nothing for QF to buy, so potentially a very good negotiating position out of the options.
    Also, would likely not only be QF wanting this range, what about Europe to Oz, US to Africa and India, probably more long range routes than one thinks....! With 777x still in development one would have to think Boeing have an upper hand here.
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  • AgentGerko

    AgentGerko

    25 Aug, 2017 02:26 pm

    We're talking a 20+ hrs flight. Once you stretch out the 8hrs sleep you're still looking at 12hrs to put up with. Only so many meals and movies I can put up with in one go. Plus the longer the flight the greater the chance of maintenance problems. Just look at Sydney - Dallas. That route has more delays and cancellations on that route than any other. I think this is just Mr Joyce making sure that his nice big profit gets maximum media exposure.
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  • Jazzop

    Jazzop

    25 Aug, 2017 03:14 pm

    And hygiene... after 20 hours.. that's going to be a funky smelling airplane.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    25 Aug, 2017 04:23 pm

    @AgentGerko:
    "We're talking a 20+ hrs flight."
    Yes, we are.  And only 2.5hrs longer than SFO->SIN(JFK->SYD will be just 1hr longer) which has been operating for over 1yr by UA 789 & SQ 359 not in some special low-density longhaul cabin config but in typical longhaul config each complete with @ least 187 regular Y seats.  According to U.S. DoT records, op disruption(e.g. delay, cancellations) rate on that route by UA/SQ is no diff than other longhaul routes fm SFO.  Furthermore according to UA, SFO-SIN is 1 of their best performers in Trans-Pcf mkt in terms of load factor prompting them to launch LAX->SIN fm 27Oct....sector block time will be 17:55 or just about 2hrs shorter than SYD->LHR.

    I don't know but if U are right and therefore airline bosses are dumb re Y pax aversion to this kinda ULH flight, then may be SQ/UA enjoy financial suicide by flying loads of empty Y seats on 17-18hrs sectors to not only sustain SFO->SIN but also UA going even more crazy to expand such ULH flights to LAX->SIN.
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  • BrisbanePE

    BrisbanePE

    25 Aug, 2017 03:24 pm

    I can imagine doing 20 hours in Business or First, but I can't see any appeal for Economy passengers, or even Premium Economy. There's not much point touting the extra unbroken sleep time if you're not in a seat conducive to sleeping in the first place!
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    craigj77

  • SuperSonic

    Shoudy Chen

    25 Aug, 2017 04:22 pm

    We know that QF has 8 B789s on delivery - first 4 in FY18 and second 4 in FY19. Both Aircraft B777-8X and A359ULR would have enough range to fly from East Coast to JFK non-stop.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    25 Aug, 2017 05:36 pm

    @Shoudy Chen:
    Actually, all 8 frames will now arrive b4 Dec2018 per the recently revised schedule.

    "Both Aircraft B777-8X and A359ULR would have enough range to fly from East Coast to JFK non-stop."
    No doubt per their specs.  JFK->Australia E.Coast westbound against predominantly headwinds is a slightly diff story though.

    In any case, AJ's main problem with the 778 or 359ULR is not really JFK.  It's that duo still not quite capable to carry 300pax+bags(obviously @ zero Rev$ cargo in the belly) on SYD->LHR westbound against predominantly headwind(or the longer way eastbound across Pacific+N.America+Atlantic but riding the tailwind).
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  • SuperSonic

    Shoudy Chen

    25 Aug, 2017 04:24 pm

    Good to see QF upgrading from Skybed to Business Suites. The Business Suites is a better product than the outdated Skybeds.
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  • Kent Hughes

    QAtraveller

    25 Aug, 2017 04:29 pm

    20hour flight no matter the class of travel would just be terrible. Who are the people that think one can sleep for that long, and the poor crew, what a terrible work day for them! We already have to put up with terrible seating, food and entertainment screens at least getting out allows us to have a stretch!!!
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  • Azri Azmi

    azriazmi90

    25 Aug, 2017 04:33 pm

    I'm hoping they can launch medium haul first rather than super long haul such as Kuala Lumpur. Many codeshare flights can be established
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  • Peter Alba

    Peter Alba

    25 Aug, 2017 05:11 pm

    Probably off topic and undoubtedly just me but the sense of awe and wonder that you may finally have the chance to board a gleaming new Airbus or Boeing in Syd or LHR and complete the journey in one all be at long leap is remarkable and maybe worth the development for this alone. May also merit a wee article looking back on the days then hours it used to take and the many exotic stops along the way.
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  • Timmy22bc

    Timmy22bc

    25 Aug, 2017 05:17 pm

    AJ has to get walk real & lose payload for these lengths. Expecting to carry 300 people these lengths is not comfort realistic. Carrying 170 allows Qantas to return to their roots of a perfect saftey record & premium service. 
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    25 Aug, 2017 05:45 pm

    Timmy22bc:
    "Carrying 170 allows Qantas to return to their roots of a perfect saftey record & premium service."
    Per this logic, it means above all, ditching their 380 will be a far higher priority/urgency for QF than considering whether they should squeeze 300seats onto a 359ULR/778....

    QF 380 has 484seats which is nearly 3x of your 170 seats limit for the mission of returning to roots.... 
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  • mickjoebill

    mickjoebill

    25 Aug, 2017 05:51 pm

    Using piece of string on a globe the polar route comes close to overflying Toronto?? 
    If Air Canada were interested are there enough east coast Americans who would prefer to transit through Toronto rather than JFK?
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    25 Aug, 2017 06:40 pm

    mickjoebill:
    "...are there enough east coast Americans who would prefer to transit through Toronto rather than JFK?"
    1st of all, if "east coast Americans" outside JFK catchment need to connect 1stop @ YYZ to fly to SYD, why not do it @ DFW which has been available for yrs by AA+QF codeshare?  East coast America links to DFW is @ least equal to, if not more extensive+frequent than, East coast America to YYZ.  2ndly, the fundamental mkt justification/utility for a SYD-JFK nonstop is almost all about hi-yield biz travelers going to Sydney or NYC catchment.  If these travelers hv to do 1stop via YYZ, lots of equal/faster/more frequent alternatives already exist via SFO and LAX by DL+VA, AA+QF and UA.

    AC will hv a tough time to justify+sustain SYD-YYZ nonstop where performance requirements+op cost will be as high as SYD-JFK by QF but won't earn nearly the same yield nor traffic volume.

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  • CRAIG HARDIE

    craigj77

    25 Aug, 2017 06:34 pm

    I get the attraction in the premium classes, but why would anyone travelling in economy want to be on an aircraft for that long? Geez, I live for the transit stop on the way to Europe to walk and stretch the legs!
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    25 Aug, 2017 06:56 pm

    @craigi77:
    "why would anyone travelling in economy want to be on an aircraft for that long?"
    I don't know but apparently, enough Y pax hv already been doing 88%(i.e. 17.5hrs block time) of that kind of duration on SQ and UA flights for over a yr across the Pacific.  Most striking is the fact that all these Y pax hv equal opportunity to choose 1stop options to cross the Pacific offered by SQ and UA to reach the same destination but didn't do so.

    Either these folks in Y enjoy being tortured by 31-32in seat pitch or they somehow are gifted with higher tolerance than readers here considered possible?
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  • Matt Stevenson

    Madhatter49

    25 Aug, 2017 11:41 pm

    Thinking outside the square a bit. I wonder if some intelligent engineer has found a way to run a solar powered electric motor to somehow keep the plane flying while at high altitude cruising speed?
    The plane logically needs the engine of course at take off and landing, but with some of the newer thin solar panels on the roof of a plane and considering on a 20+ hour flight it will be in sunlight for a fair chunk of that time will be above the clouds, bad weather etc...
    We've had solar cars and some of the small solo adventurers doing solar powered flights. So it's possible in 10 or more years time they might be able to work something out like this.
    If fuel is the main issue to do with preventing long haul flights going furthr, then we find a solution.
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  • Timmy22bc

    Timmy22bc

    26 Aug, 2017 06:24 am

    Would there be enough heat up there at -42degrees? 
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  • RK

    Ryan K

    26 Aug, 2017 12:20 pm

    Heat has nothing to do with it, solar panels are generated by light. Satellites out in the freezing depths of space run off solar.
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  • Hewnix

    Hewnix

    26 Aug, 2017 02:43 am

    Not economically viable even if they get the planes. SYD->LAX flies half empty in Economy for half the year already. Now imagine a separate flight taking some of that traffic direct to JFK. 

    More practical would be to let us clear US customs and immigration at Sydney airport (see: Dublin). This way, we can disembark at LAX directly into the wonderful Tom Bradley Intl terminal, walk around for a bit, have a coffee and then board Qantas flight to JFK, rather than the current hassle of claiming our bags at LAX and then re-checking to JFK. 

    A better innovation IMO is shorter flights. This would increase px volumes as a trip to the US or Europe would be much more appealing if the flights were shorter (and cheaper). How about a long weekend trip to LA?


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  • mviy

    mviy

    26 Aug, 2017 08:55 am

    If direct flights to JFK go ahead then flights to LAX could get downgraded from an A380 to a smaller plane outside of peak demand times if they can't justify an A380. The BNE flights to LAX will get downgraded from 747 to 787 and if there's not enough demand there won't need to be two flights from MEL to LAX on some days anymore but rather always just the one.
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  • aklrunway

    aklrunway

    27 Aug, 2017 01:26 pm

    Where do you get the idea that SYD-LAX Y class flies half empty for half the year?
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    Cool Cat Phil

  • maabbot

    maabbot

    26 Aug, 2017 08:06 am

    Publicity stunt...got air time and newscoverage everywhere, but from a business perspective tell me how this will move the needle on qantas' bottom line. There simply isn't a market for triple daily into JFK nor 4x daily into heathrow (incl Perth)...more importantly Qantas results showed "international" dragging the chain on performance. Will they end up doing non stops from Sydney to JFK and Heathrow...yes, but it will happen post 2022 and Melbourne and brizzie will be waiting!
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  • Steve987

    Steve987

    26 Aug, 2017 02:26 pm

    Given the anticipated discomfort of being in economy on these flights, I wonder if the conclusion will be that these flights should be nothing less than PE and the mass people movers like A380 that need to stop become overwhelmingly economy class? Similar to the old SQ approach, but with the PE concession, and a suggestion that first could be included.


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  • Brayden

    ThePerthTrav

    27 Aug, 2017 12:31 am

    I would fly on PER-LHR direct, but not SYD-LHR. There comes a point where a flight can be too long, and 20 hours on a plane is such flight.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    29 Aug, 2017 09:46 pm

    It just daunts on me that SYD/MEL-JFK nonstop makes tons  of econ/mkt sense fm QF Trans-Pcf network effectiveness perspective.

     
    Although perhaps unpopular for many ausbt.com.au readers here based in MEL and SYD(To be fair, that's a vast majority of readers) and dislike the notion of no stop @ LAX on their way to JFK due to longer time stuck in Y and therefore intolerable, think about the following total QF network utility picture for JFK mkt before & after 2022:
     
    Before 2022:
    SYD, MEL and BNE =All pax makes 1stop @ LAX to reach JFK.
    Everywhere else in AU =All pax makes @ least 2 stops @ SYD/MEL/BNE AND LAX to reach JFK.
     
    After 2022:
    SYD & MEL =Some pax has zero stop option to reach JFK.  Utility improved...@ least for those who can survive 19hrs sector.
    BNE =All pax still has 1stop option via SYD/MEL to reach JFK.  Utility remains unchanged.
    Everywhere else in AU =All pax has 1stop option via SYD/MEL to reach JFK.  Utility improved.
     
    Think deeper about it:  Smaller but still significant mkts in AU such as PER, ADL, CBR, OOL, CNS, etc. and countless even smaller AU airports suddenly hv a 1stop link to the Big Apple to be carried all the way by QF/JQ birds.  Same argument in reverse for pax based in NYC metro region...every QF airport in AU beyond SYD, MEL and LAX suddenly becomes only 1 stop away fm JFK.  By my rough count, 28 AU airports are already linked to SYD by QF/QFLink/JQ for example.  Notice that I'm not even counting NZ cities where only 1 airport has a realistic 1stop option(i.e. no excessive detour) to NYC today only due to the UA+NZ codeshare.  This is the same network evolution dynamics of how SYD-DFW by QF open up all N.American airports(well over 125) linked to DFW by AA.  To fill all seats on a 380 to/fm SYD, QF only needs to find an avg of less than 4pax traveling between each of those 125 airports and SYD...and QF obviously doesn't need 100% load factor to sustain a 380 on SYD-DFW yr-round.  To fill 300seats on SYD-JFK, QF only needs to find an avg of about 10 pax heading to/fm JFK for each of the 28 AU cities + SYD itself.
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  • kabe100

    kabe100

    30 Aug, 2017 08:10 am

    AirNZ has already been planning to launch AKL-JFK nonstop plus several other non-stop services to rest of the east coast capitals (i.e. AKL-GIG). That announcement came a couple of days before QF one.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    30 Aug, 2017 12:29 pm

    @kabe100:
    I was unaware of the AKL-JFK plan of NZ so thx for the update.

    @ 14,207km, AKL-JFK/EWR(Newark is a Star hub so more likely than JFK) by NZ will be technically+economically a far less challenging route than SYD-JFK because of these confirmed upcoming ULR routes all to be flown by 789:
    SFO-SIN @ 13,593km already in service for over a yr.
    LAX-SIN @ 14,113km scheduled to start 1 mth fm now.
    PER-LHR @ 14,499km scheduled to start Mar 2018.

    NZ is already a 789 operator so NZ only need to add another lower density cabin config(i.e. to match those existing 789 configs @ UA & QF) to reduce payload &  increase fuel load for AKL-JFK/EWR.  Unlike QF, it's technically possible for NZ to launch within a yr well b4 2022.  Even if NZ sticks to its higher-density longhaul biz model(e.g. existing NZ 789 includes 300seats+ config) for AKL-JFK/EWR, the existing 359ULR /778 specs already hv surplus payload/range capabilities for such NZ mission...no need to ask Airbus/Boeing to create a new variant like QF must.
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    kabe100

  • Steve987

    Steve987

    30 Aug, 2017 06:53 pm

    An interesting read on a traveller re Auckland to Doha, that gives some insight into what this would be like.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    31 Aug, 2017 12:36 am

    @Steve987:
    "An interesting read on a traveller re Auckland to Doha"
    Even more interesting is that after 7mths, why AKL->DOH by QR is still around if the notion of most Y pax would avoid ULH duration(e.g. anything beyond 16hrs) has any traction in the real world where real tickets are sold.  This is especially striking in the case of a Y pax flying between say, AKL and LHR where a more 'tolerable' 1-stop option already existed for decades...why would a Y pax still choose AKL->DOH->LHR by QR?  NZ hater?  Avoid LAX & U.S. security lines like the plague?  QR just luv to fly empty Y cabin on AKL->DOH?

    On the other hand @ 17h30m block time, AKL-DOH is indeed comparable to the existing 17h35m SFO->SIN but still fall short of the 17h55m LAX->SIN starting fm Oct.  However, 17h30m block time is not a tough job for QR's long-legged 77L even @ full pax....
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  • R Kohan

    rk1

    31 Aug, 2017 10:36 am

    Fantastic news!!!
    Chris, any idea of the comparative travel times and costs between PER-LHR on the 787 and PER-SIN-LHR with the SIN-LHR A380 service? 
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    31 Aug, 2017 10:38 am

    We don't have that information at hand, but you can find this information yourself by searching for flights on the Qantas website.
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  • kamere

    kamere

    1 Sep, 2017 02:21 pm

    Great news.  Good work Qantas.
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21 Jul, 2019 09:25 pm

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