- Mar 22, 2005
Saw this news article for anyone that might be interested.
Qantas is reportedly holding negotiations to launch non-stop business-class flights between London and Sydney.
Boeing's 777-200 LR Worldliner aircraft last week broke the record for the longest flight by a commercial airliner, and has the capacity to link any two cities in the world.
However a non-stop flight from London to Sydney would be impossible with the full complement of 300 passengers as it would use up almost all its fuel, not having enough of a safety buffer required in case of diversion.
However the removal of 100 seats and the addition of three more fuel tanks would make the direct flight possible, hence the pitch at the business-class market.
A Qantas jumbo flew direct from Sydney to London in 1989, but there were no passengers.
Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that Qantas was in talks with Boeing about the possibility of a non-stop flight.
Competition on the London-Sydney route is intense, meaning any airline that could offer quicker non-stop flights would get a big jump on rivals in the premium fare market.
It would also save Qantas money on landing fees en-route to Europe.
Boeing's rival Airbus has offered Qantas a long-range version of its A340-500 but that could carry only 120 passengers.