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You Might Soon Be Able to Fly Direct From Brisbane to New York and London

As well as non-stop routes from Sydney and Melbourne to Europe and the US, Qantas is contemplating direct flights from Brisbane.
By Libby Curran and Sarah Ward
December 22, 2018
By Libby Curran and Sarah Ward
December 22, 2018

By this stage, most of us have come to terms with the fact that jetting off to USA or Europe is a seriously long slog, made worse by unavoidable (sometimes long, always painful) stopovers. But that European or American trip looks set to become a whole lot more bearable — including for Brisbane travellers.

Last year, Qantas announced that it was exploring non-stop routes from Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York. Earlier this year, CEO Alan Joyce told Bloomberg that the plan — called Project Sunrise — looks set to become a reality. Now Brisbane Times is reporting that direct flights from Brisbane are under consideration too. Sure, only stopping in Sydney on the way to London sounds much better than spending hours in Singapore, Dubai or somewhere else, but not stopping at all sounds even better.

As it has always been, the key factor is the most obvious one: planes that can handle the trip. The extra distance involved with flights from the east coast capitals to London and New York is something that none of today's planes can manage, so the airline put out a call to Airbus and Boeing, the world's biggest aircraft manufacturers, to make an aircraft that can go the distance. Joyce said in September that "we're now comfortable that we think we have vehicles that could do it".

Looking to start taking off from late 2022 or sometime in 2023, the planes will need to be able to handle around 20 hours to London and 18 hours to New York. The airline has done its homework, analysing a decade's worth of wind and weather data to confirm the routes are actually possible — but it needs the planes to fly it.

Those planes could come equipped with extra facilities — such as bunks and workout spaces — to help combat the lengthy time travellers will spend in the air in one stint. And, if and when the new routes are up and running, Qantas will look at direct connections between Australia and other places around the globe, with spots in the Americas, Europe and Africa on the company's list.

Qantas already added the hefty 17-hour Perth to London route to its capabilities this year, so it's clearly in the long-haul game for, well, the long haul. Right now, the world's longest direct flight clocks in at over 19 hours, with Singapore Airlines flying 15,322-kilometres along its Singapore-to-New York route. Previously, the journey from Doha and Auckland  earned that mantle, taking around 18 hours to travel 14,529 kilometres.

Via Brisbane Times.

Published on December 22, 2018 by Libby Curran
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