Qantas is going to be making a big announcement at the end of this year. The carrier has plans to confirm its longest route yet. The anticipated route will take passengers from Sydney to London when it launches. However, the new route won't be a done deal until Qantas secures the right aircraft for the journey.
The CEO of Qantas recently let it be known that the airline has asked both Airbus and Boeing to step forward with aircraft ideas that would work for an ultra-long route. That means that both companies are now essentially competing to get a contract with Qantas.
Qantas has been working on developing what will become its longest route for quite some time. The new route will be the fruit of something called Project Sunrise. The flight that is planned will take travelers on a 21-hour journey that covers 10,250 miles. The route could be launched by as early as 2023 if all goes smoothly with aircraft selection.
Qantas has already done a lot of work in order to be able to enter the long-route game. One major obstacle has been the fatigue rule that is enforced by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority. The rule dictates that crews of three to four pilots are permitted to fly for up to 18 hours. However, an adjustment was made that extended that time to almost 20 hours. Qantas was granted permission to launch a 17-hour route from Perth to London in 2018 using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.