Qantas CEO Alan Joyce believes the pandemic will ultimately increase demand for point-to-point travel. That’s especially important if Qantas moves ahead with its “Project Sunrise” ultra-longhaul flight program.
Qantas Affirms Project Sunrise 2024 Target
Speaking Eurocontrol’s Aviation StraightTalk Live, Joyce was asked about the future of the program in light of the pandemic and the extended shutdown of Australian borders. Joyce expressed optimism that the program would continue.
“We still want to revisit it at the end of ’21, with the potential of doing it in ’24, probably, and onwards.”
Project Sunrise is the code name for Qantas’ plan to launch ultra-long-haul service from Sydney and Melbourne to key destinations around the globe currently not reachable nonstop. That includes:
- Cape Town
- New York
- Rio de Janeiro
Joyce added that the project would be more financially viable because it would require several aircraft, creating a sub-fleet large enough to efficiently service and maintain.
Prior to the pandemic, Qantas’ daily 9,010-mile Perth – London service onboard the Boeing 787-9 clocked in at over 17 hours when flying west, but also proved to be the most profitable flight in the Qantas network.
Rather than the Dreamliner, Qantas will use specially-configured Airbus A350-1000 for its Project Sunrise service.
You can watch the interview here:
Should Qantas move ahead with Project Sunrise in 2024, we would see records broken for the longest flight in the world. While many would view a 20+ hours flight between London or New York and Sydney as pure torture, I think Joyce is onto something when he stresses a renewed customer desire for point-to-point service.
Will Qantas’ Project Sunrise take off?
(H/T: Travel Update)