Crowd Cheers After Longest Commercial Flight Arrives in Sydney From London

Boeing Project Sunrise

The brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner left Heathrow at around 6am local time on Thursday and touched down in Sydney at 12.28pm on Friday.

Ultra-long range flights would be a game-changing opportunity for Qantas as it looks to capture a premium from travellers in return for cutting out a stop-over, Citi analysts said in a note to clients published in July.

Asked whether he would be willing to test economy class for 19 hours, Joyce said the 17-hour London-Perth service had the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any route on the Qantas global network.

Australian airline Qantas set a record.

The flight, with 62 passengers and crew on board, was part of the airline's Project Sunrise project that could result in scheduled commercial services from Australia's eastern cities to London and NY from 2023.

Now it is impossible to fly a plane at full capacity from London to cities on the east coast of Australia without stopping to refuel.

Qantas has been attempting to stretch the boundaries of long-haul travel under its so-called "Project Sunrise".

The airline's CEO, Alan Joyce, said flying nonstop from the East Coast of Australia to London and NY is the final frontier in aviation.

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"If people are able to fly point to point they are willing to pay a little bit more than if they have a stopover on the way through - it makes it so much easier for them, " said Thomas.

"But the intention is to make a decision this year and an order could follow into early next year".

It was the second time Qantas has flown non-stop from London, the first flight involved a Boeing 747-400 in 1989, and the airline used the arrival to launch its centenary celebrations.

Among those at Sydney airport to greet QF7879 were prime minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese, as well as Qantas chairman Richard Goyder.

Mark Sedgwick, the president of the Australian and International Pilots Association representing Qantas pilots, said more research would be needed to inform broader fatigue-management plans.

"We started in outback Queensland carrying mail and a few passengers in the 1920s", he said.

Testing for the service comes at a significant time for aviation, with pressure building on carriers to reduce the carbon emissions that are prompting an increasing number of travelers to cut down on airplane use.

"Our founders talked about overcoming the tyranny of distance and through the years we've moved from bi-planes to single wing, to jets to help bring things closer".

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