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Project Sunrise: A350 or 777X?

moa999

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I think the fact they've moved onto negotiation with pilots, and the University testing of long flights shows greater confidence in the aircraft being proposed.

Much like the PER-LHR 787, Sunrise will create effective monopoly (or duopoly if an airline on the other end tries it) - that is a massive difference
 

Quickstatus

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I dont think the ER falls into first mover (but I get your point). No FM advantage there as QF was the only customer - its hard to not be first if you are the only customer.

If they went for the 777, LAX-MEL would have been possible with an off the shelf model

The QF hype about the 787 suggested they were the first, but it had already been in service for several years.
I dont believe QF has ever been a "launch customer" in the usual sense.
 

dajop

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The QF hype about the 787 suggested they were the first, but it had already been in service for several years.
I dont believe QF has ever been a "launch customer" in the usual sense.
By the time it was painted in QF colours the 787 was probably in service with 50 customers (including their own JQ). But there is no doubt they were the first Sydney based airline to fly the model :p
 

p--and--t

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The more I think about this, Project Sunrise is really a Qf publicity / marketing stunt...I would not pay a premium for a direct non stop Syd-Lhr ultra long haul flight saving me at most 3-4 hours over a 1 stop flight! What I would pay a (huge) premium for is a faster plane a la Concorde (doesn't have to be as fast) that would really shave some hours off a Syd-Lhr route even if it meant a quick stop somewhere...
As you have stated, you wouldn't. As many others have stated on AFF they wouldn't.

However, the fact is that 1,000's do this every week on the PER-LHR service rather than go to the ME or SIN.

Horses for courses.
 

moa999

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Don't think there was much hype about the 787 itself.. was all about the length of the flight.

they went for the 777, LAX-MEL would have been possible with an off the shelf model
Sunrise Is about longer flights than that.
The A380 does SYD-DFW, as could the 787.
 

Himeno

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I dont think the ER falls into first mover (but I get your point). No FM advantage there as QF was the only customer - its hard to not be first if you are the only customer.

If they went for the 777, LAX-MEL would have been possible with an off the shelf model

The QF hype about the 787 suggested they were the first, but it had already been in service for several years.
I dont believe QF has ever been a "launch customer" in the usual sense.
By the time it was painted in QF colours the 787 was probably in service with 50 customers (including their own JQ). But there is no doubt they were the first Sydney based airline to fly the model :p
Qantas was one of the first airlines to order the 787 in late 2005 with those orders building up to 115 (65 firm orders, 20 options and 30 rights) over 2006 and 2007.

Then 2009 hit and between the production delays and Qantas' financial problems, they started deferring and cancelling the firm orders.
Had the production delays not happened, Qantas would have been one of the first 10 airlines to get them and likely have started operating the aircraft in 2008.
 

Quickstatus

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Sunrise Is about longer flights than that.
The A380 does SYD-DFW, as could the 787.
Yes I realise that, but my comment was about reasons for the 744ER. (OT, I know)

Qantas was one of the first airlines to order the 787 in late 2005
Though not the launch customer. (which was the comment about "first mover")
Im skeptical about QF Sunrise. Its all about "tomorrow" which as we know is always tomorrow.
There are substantial benefits in not being the launch customer.
 

juddles

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First on 744ERs
Second A380s, first to take door delete option

I think the fact they've moved onto negotiation with pilots, and the University testing of long flights shows greater confidence in the aircraft being proposed.

Much like the PER-LHR 787, Sunrise will create effective monopoly (or duopoly if an airline on the other end tries it) - that is a massive difference
moa999, I agree with your assessment that their moves support a belief that they are still moving forward with this.

I do think however that a potential magical part of this for Qantas is that they will, if succesful, manage to carve out a niche market, a monopoly. Australia being at the end of the world, this market is a clear focus for QF. But for airlines at the other end this is just a small part of business, hence no real interest. Qantas has, IMHO, the chance of getting a headstart.

I know that Qantas has not been the first adopter of many new things - but here they are leading the way. And I hold the utmost sure belief that eventually pretty much all travel will be point to point. maybe in 10 years, or 50. But in this I see an amazing change where maybe Qantas will be at the forefront of a new paradigm in international travel.
 

juddles

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But i also see that maybe it is not real. I really value @jb747 input. He has perhaps a much in depth perspective of the situation on the ground with QF. Fears about fleet replacement, etc. So maybe it is all just bullshit.
 

jb747

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One would hope that if this were true the pilots would bend a little on Sunrise in return for other benefits elsewhere throughout the network.
Sadly a naive view of how AJ works. The company were given in the order of a 30% effective pay cut for the 787. My understanding is that they’d like even more, and not just on Sunrise.

It clearly is about working hours for the Sunrise flights and that is fair enough for the pilots. If it were me at the table I’d make sure that at all cost there is an agreement so if Sunrise turns to Sunset it’s not the pilots holding the candles.
At various points, most of us from the 747 and 380 have done 20 hour tours of duty. Personally, I can’t see how CASA could conceivably consider them to be safe, so it will be interesting to see if they are ever approved. The flights that have been announced are anything but proving flights. The crew are tame ‘management’, so the result will be in before departure. It’s worth noting that 787s have been on the Australian register for quite some time, but CASA still has not extended their ETOPs to anything like that given overseas.

Knowing how I felt at 20 hours (and I was in an aircraft which almost certainly had a better crew rest than will ‘Sunrise’), I would not be willing to put my family on such a flight.
 

dajop

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And I hold the utmost sure belief that eventually pretty much all travel will be point to point. maybe in 10 years, or 50.
I can’t see “pretty much all” travel ever being point to point. Likely for the major cities, but hubs will be always needed to connect lesser cities. What you may see more of is short hops to connect with ultra long hauls. I wouldn’t be surprised if BA, LH and AF are all watching closely what QF is doing.

Will we see such routes commonplace? Don’t know. Comparable routes (to SYD-Europe/East coast US) would be LAX-JNB, DEL-SCL, PEK-GRU? I’m not sure if we will such routes or not.

Furthermore the point to points just don’t seem to make sense for many routes even today for medium-long hauls. Whilst our cities are well served for their size, cities in the US with the urban population of ADL, only an hour flight from a major hub, just by and large don’t get intercontinental flights. (for example St Louis, which has over 2m people in its urban area has no international flights other than Mexico holiday destinations and Toronto).

I just can’t see point to points from ...Brisbane to Boston? Adelaide to Amsterdam? Perth to Prague? Melbourne to Madrid? Sydney to Sofia?
 

Himeno

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Other then SEA, SFO, LAX, HNL, DEN, DFW, ORD, IAH, DTW, BOS, NYC, PHL, MIA, ATL and IAD, US airports don't get more then a token amount of long haul flights, if any.
Even hubs like SLC, MSP and LAS barely have 5 long haul routes.

Sunrise like routes would cover Eastern AU/NZ to Europe, Eastern AU/NZ to Eastern US, Asia to Southern South America and Western US to Africa.
There just aren't that many city pairs in those groups that would be variable for such flights.
 

jetset

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Interesting post from Runway Girl
Airbus plans upgraded but non-ULR A350-1000 for Project Sunrise
It seems that Airbus is not offering a ULR A350-1000. Boeing is in a tough spot right now as they are seemingly unable get the 777X off the ground in time. Airbus seems to be taking advantage of this. After all, why engineer a bespoke plane for one small customer?

It appears that Airbus will offer a weight restricted A350-1000 with minor efficiency improvements. Given at Boeing isn't developing the 777-8 at all at the moment it seems that Qantas may not have any other realistic choices.
 

Jacques Vert

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Interesting article; I guess we will all know in a few months from now.
 

jetset

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The other realistic choice is to not proceed.
Agree, but with so much hype since the announcement and test-flights in progress as we speak it would difficult to see this in any other light than a humiliating defeat for Alan Joyce.
 

Himeno

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The first test flight is scheduled to depart JFK at 10am Sydney time tomorrow.
 

DC3

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Agree, but with so much hype since the announcement and test-flights in progress as we speak it would difficult to see this in any other light than a humiliating defeat for Alan Joyce.
I wouldn't put it like that. As QF is not in the aircraft manufacturing business it is limited to what is offered from the makers (Boeing/Airbus, etc). Whenever that will be?
 

dajop

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Agree, but with so much hype since the announcement and test-flights in progress as we speak it would difficult to see this in any other light than a humiliating defeat for Alan Joyce.
One thing I think we can all agree on about QF is that they have a world class PR machine. If a decision is taken to not proceed with Project Sunrise, the publicity will not only save face for AJ, but promote it a positive for Qantas customers. Someone else will be blamed, and immense PR will be generated for the BNE-ORD launch.
 

esseeeayeenn

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Interesting post from Runway Girl
It seems that Airbus is not offering a ULR A350-1000. Boeing is in a tough spot right now as they are seemingly unable get the 777X off the ground in time. Airbus seems to be taking advantage of this. After all, why engineer a bespoke plane for one small customer?

It appears that Airbus will offer a weight restricted A350-1000 with minor efficiency improvements. Given at Boeing isn't developing the 777-8 at all at the moment it seems that Qantas may not have any other realistic choices.
What's missing from that article is the detail that (as everyone reminds me) AJ has said there will be an F cabin on the Project Sunrise aircraft.
So the QF configuration will be 4 class not 3 class, and should have even fewer than the 300-320 the article envisages.
The A350-1000 cabin is only 5 inches wider than the B787-9 cabin so that won't make a huge difference and I can't see QF doing 10 abreast in Y on this aircraft.
It is 11 metres longer. It seems to me this doesn't offer the chance to do much more than add an F cabin of 12-14 seats similar to the A380 F cabin.
Adding that to the 789's 42 J, 28 PE & 166 Y would give you about 250 seats.
If you made the F cabin much smaller - say as few as 6 seats - then being optimistic you could increase the J seats by about 16 or PE by 21 or Y by 27.
Or some combination thereof, which might be influenced by doors, bulkhead, galley and toilet placement.
Of course extra toilets and possibly galley space dedicated to first would eat into the room for extra seating.
But on these rough calculations you would be looking at between 250 (14 F), 258 (6F, 58J) or at most 269 seats if you have an F cabin at all.
You could squeeze more in but that would be inconsistent with AJ's stated "premium heavy" aproach.
At 270 or fewer seats the range of the A350-1000 would be looking pretty good!
 

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