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While we’ve all been enjoying in-flight movies and TV shows during our long-haul flights, Qantas has been hard at work shaping the future of long-haul air travel.
Bloomberg reports that a full year after the company’s CEO, Alan Joyce, made a public challenge to airplane manufacturers Boeing Company and Airbus SE to build an airplane that could take on a flight from Sydney to London or New York, they’ve done just that. Joyce shared in an interview in Qantas’s Sydney offices that “we think we have vehicles that could do it.”
Qantas is calling it Project Sunrise and it’s much more than just a really long flight. With that amount of travel time comes an opportunity to create a more social flying atmosphere—and the early talks around these planes do not disappoint. Joyce shared more about the plans: “We’re challenging ourselves to think outside the box,” he said. “Would you have the space used for other activities—exercise, bar, crèche, sleeping areas and berths? Boeing and Airbus have been actually quite creative in coming up with ideas.”
You won’t be able to book these flights for some time, so don’t get too excited. The first routes wouldn’t be tested until 2022, but if successful, the plan is to offer flights to Australia from major cities in North and South America, Africa, and Europe would follow.
If they do come to fruition, these flights would cut hours of travel time for flyers around the world—more specifically, up to four hours if you’re traveling between Brisbane, Sydney, or Melbourne and Cape Town, London or Paris and up to three hours from the Australian hubs to New York or Rio de Janeiro.