New Qantas service to become longest non-stop commercial flight

If the thought of sitting on a plane even for just a few hours prompts your upper lip to twitch uncontrollably, then look away now.

Australian carrier Qantas has just announced a new route between Sydney and London that will leave your butt glued to the seat for almost 20 hours. That’s right, twenty hours.

To be fair, the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft that’s set to fly the new route will be specially configured to help ease the strain of what will be the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight when it takes to the skies in 2025.

What a view 🤩

This morning we welcomed a special @Airbus A350-1000 into Sydney – The aircraft will operate non-stop flights from Australia to other cities including New York and London, starting by the end of 2025. pic.twitter.com/ldXHEihHtq

— Qantas (@Qantas) May 2, 2022

The design will include, for example, a Wellbeing Zone offering passengers a place for movement, stretching, and hydration.

Those able to afford a First Class seat aboard the aircraft will be able to relax in luxurious suites with a separate bed, recliner lounge chair, and personal wardrobe.

Business suites will offer similar benefits, while a new Premium Economy seat will offer a decent 40-inch seat pitch (the distance between one seatback and the same spot on the next seatback). However, Economy’s 33-inch seat pitch may prompt taller individuals to consider booking a flight with a stopover in somewhere like Singapore or Dubai so they can extricate their limbs from the rigid position into which they set.

The extra space afforded to seats means the aircraft will have a passenger count of just 238, the lowest compared with any other A350-1000 currently in service.

Qantas

Travelers concerned about the quality of the air due to being stuck in a metal tube at 38,000 feet for such a long time will be pleased to learn that HEPA filters on the aircraft will refresh the air every two or three minutes while removing 99.9% of circulating particles, according to Qantas.

The carrier said it has purchased 12 Airbus A350-1000s for non-stop flights between Australia and other locations that will also include New York City. The direct flight between Sydney and London will be four hours shorter than its usual service, which makes one stop for refueling.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the new aircraft will make “almost any city in the world just one flight away from Australia. It’s the last frontier and the final fix for the tyranny of distance that has traditionally challenged travel to Australia.”

Joyce added that the airline’s non-stop Perth-London flight, which launched in 2017 to become the first direct flight between Australia and the U.K., showed strong demand “for the convenience and time savings from this kind of travel if the product and service is right,” suggesting that the Sydney route could also prove popular.

The shorter journey time and greater convenience is certainly a far cry from the first Sydney-London route, which Qantas launched in 1947. That particular trip took an astonishing 58 hours and seven stops.

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