Written by Staff Writer
Sydney-to-London flights could be in the works according to the CEO of Qantas.
In an interview with The Australian Sunday Herald Sun, Alan Joyce said it could be up to five years before the airline announces the details of the proposed service.
If the project were to go ahead it would involve a revamped “Seven Sisters” flight, dubbed “Kiwi Connect”, featuring a Perth-London route and Sydney-to-London service.
The plan will see Qantas build a second, larger plane to house a larger number of passengers on each flight, potentially causing the Boeing 787-9 to break with the fleet’s annual 50-seat limit.
Joyce added that it is in the early stages, with no firm decision on whether the flights will be rolled out.
Can the 787 Fly Sydney to London?
Since the 787-9 made its official debut last year, it has successfully flown international routes to and from Los Angeles, China, Japan, South Korea, the Middle East and even Dubai.
Two flight attendants are required to maintain all three meals, a much larger crew than its main competitors, Boeing 767s and 777s.
According to Qantas, with 30% of its global passengers and 90% of its board members and management traveling internationally, the airline wants to be better prepared in future.
A second, bigger plane would offer 24.6% more seats than current Airbus A380 planes on long-haul flights, according to the airline.
A Qantas spokeswoman said the company’s New York-London route, which involves a Boeing 787-8, has averaged 589 passengers on the 4-hour flight, in line with market expectations.
According to Joyce, the new route could mean lower prices for Australian travellers, as well as increased revenue.
International routes could also help bring in more Australian tourists.
From December 1, Aussies have a $40 surcharge on flights from the island nation to the United States, a move which Joyce said could impact just 30,000 people — but could double the number of people who visit the U.S. in the future.
Air New Zealand plans a same-day Auckland-to-Sydney flight this weekend — although the plane only seats 150 people — as it continues to ramp up its operations to and from the US.
Qantas and Air New Zealand are both subsidiaries of Qantas Group, the world’s biggest airline.