As part of the company’s annual quarterly earnings announcement, Qantas says it is investigating direct flights from the east coast of Australia to London and New York by 2022.
According to a news release, a challenge has been given to Airbus and Boeing to give their next-generation aircraft currently under development (Airbus’ A350ULR and Boeing’s 777X) the range to make these non-stop flights possible with a full passenger load.
“Any aircraft purchase would have to meet strict financial thresholds, but these direct flights would be revolutionary for air travel in Australia,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
A direct flight would cut total journey time by up to four hours on the Sydney-London route and almost three hours on the Melbourne-New York route.
“From next year we’ll be flying direct from Perth to London, which is a huge leap forward,” said Joyce. “We believe advances in technology in the next few years will make Sydney to London direct a possibility and Qantas is well placed to be the airline to do it.”
Other plans that Qantas is working on include renovations at both the Business and Qantas Club lounges at Melbourne Domestic Airport. Those renovations call for more space and dining options and are expected to be completed by November.