QF7879, a Qantas research flight, landed in Sydney on Sunday morning — a whopping 19 hours and 16 minutes after commencing its 10,066-mile journey from New York. The airline said it was the first nonstop commercial flight connecting the two cities.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who was one of 49 passengers and crew on board the test flight, gushed upon landing that the Australian flag carrier — and the aviation industry at large — had just reached a milestone.
“This is a really historic moment for Qantas, a really historic moment for Australian aviation and a really historic moment for world aviation,” Joyce said, according to Reuters.
Qantas said the test flight was used to “run a series of experiments” to measure the effects of long-haul travel on pilots, passengers and airline crew, and it also served to help the company determine whether it wants to add the nonstop New York-to-Sydney flight — which would be the world’s longest commercial airplane journey — to its regular lineup.
Qantas said it is also mulling possible direct flights between London and Sydney, as well as direct routes connecting two other major Australian cities ― Melbourne and Brisbane ― with London and New York.
The airline said it plans to conduct a London-to-Sydney test flight next month and expects to make a decision about the possible new routes by the end of the year. If approved, the flights could commence by 2022 or 2023.
✈️ WORLD'S LONGEST FLIGHT: No airline has ever completed this 20-hour route.@Qantas will have scientists on board to test the effects on passengers and pilots. Follow #tictocnews this weekend pic.twitter.com/mGGrELutOV— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) October 18, 2019
As Reuters noted, no commercial aircraft can currently complete an uninterrupted...