You are currently viewing our desktop site, do you want to visit our Mobile web app instead?
 Registered users can save articles to their personal articles list. Login here or sign up here

Qantas tests 20-hour non-stop flights to see if passengers can bear it

Ghost flights carrying just a few staff will run between New York and London to Sydney.

Qantas Airways will run marathon ghost flights from New York and London to Sydney carrying just a few staff to see how the human body holds up before commercial services start.

Qantas said Thursday it will simulate the world’s longest direct flights with Boeing Dreamliners as soon as October. The payload of 40 passengers and crew, most of them employees, will undergo a host of medical checks and assessments.

Read: World’s longest flight to be even less comfortable than expected

The Australian airline wants to start direct flights connecting Sydney to New York and London as soon as 2022. Chief executive officer Alan Joyce describes the services as aviation’s final frontier.

The services, which take about 20 hours, aren’t yet a sure thing. Qantas still hasn’t decided on a Boeing or Airbus plane that can fly the route fully laden and without a break. And it’s not clear how passengers will tolerate living in the cabin for the best part of a day and night.

“The things we learn on these flights will be invaluable,” Joyce said on a call Thursday.

Joyce has previously said he plans to choose either Boeing’s 777-8X or Airbus’s ultra-long-range A350-900ULR and -1000ULR for the flights. Competition for the contract gives Qantas more leverage over price.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television on Thursday, Joyce said the delay to Boeing’s 777X program hasn’t excluded the U.S. manufacturer from the deal. He said Boeing had offered Qantas a “transitional” solution to accommodate for any delay. He didn’t elaborate.

“This is still a very competitive race,” he said.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Get access to Moneyweb's financial intelligence and support quality journalism for only
R63/month or R630/year.
Sign up here, cancel at any time.

COMMENTS   0

To comment, you must be registered and logged in.

LOGIN HERE

Don't have an account?
Sign up for FREE

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR

Podcasts

SHOP NEWSLETTERS TRENDING CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: