Qantas challenges Airbus, Boeing to develop ultimate ultra-longhaul jet


Qantas would like to begin flying from the east coast of Australia to London and New York by 2022.

"A challenge has been given to Airbus and Boeing to give their next-generation aircraft currently under development the range to make these nonstop flights possible with a full passenger load," the carrier said in a press release Friday. "A direct flight would cut total journey time by up to four hours on Sydney-London and almost three hours on Melbourne-New York."

Airbus is currently developing an ultralong-range version of its A350 so that launch partner Singapore Air can resume the 9,500-mile, 19-hour route from its city-state home to the New York area in 2018. Once it commences, the service will be the longest regularly scheduled flight in the world.

Boeing's next generation widebody in development is the 777X.

At 11,185 miles, London-Sydney is considered the ultimate challenge in the ultra-longhaul business. Meanwhile, a flight from Melbourne to New York would be 10,350 miles.

In March, Qantas will commence non-stop service between Perth and London using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The route will be the first directly connecting Australia with Europe.

"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," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

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