Qantas tells plane manufacturers to step up their game for New York flight


Qantas has rejected proposals from Airbus and Boeing to build a plane that would fly passengers from Sydney to New York and London.

Qantas told the aircraft manufacturers that they need to lower their price for the proposed routes to work.

The rejections were reported Tuesday by Australian media, including the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Aviation. Qantas offered no further details but confirmed the accuracy of the reports. 

The Australian airline has been studying the viability of launching flights from New York and London to Sydney by 2023. The endeavor is called Project Sunrise.

No commercial airline has flown scheduled passenger service between London or New York and Australia's east coast. At 11,185 miles, London-Sydney is widely considered the ultimate challenge in long-haul air travel.

Boeing and Airbus submitted proposals to Qantas in August. Boeing proposed putting a 777-8X on the routes while Airbus offered up the A350-1000ULR. The key for Qantas is to secure a plane that not only can handle the distance but carry enough passengers to make the routes work economically. 

Qantas told Airbus and Boeing that their offers were too expensive.

Qantas has said it plans to make a decision on whether to go forward with the London/New York-Sydney project by the end of this year. 

This fall, the carrier is conducting research flights on the routes, one from London to Sydney and two between New York and Sydney. The flights are being operated on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, but with loads of only approximately 50 hand-selected passengers.


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