Australian Qantas will repeat the feat of the longest commercial flight in the world, once again reaching the record for more than 19 hours of nonstop flight with passengers on board.
The Australian company, which is the third oldest in the world and recently turned 100 years old, has broken many records throughout its history, standing out for its pioneering actions. To cite three examples, it was the first global airline to have a fleet of Boeing 747s alone, made the first transpacific flights nonstop and created the concept of Business Class.
At the end of last year, the company remade a historic flight, which it had completed for the first time in 1989, at the time with its brand new Boeing 747-400ER. At that time, the route was London – Sydney without stops, something unthinkable at the time, but easily accomplished by the 747, which was empty at the time. The ER – Extended Range modification was developed especially for Qantas, which sacrificed cargo space for installing extra fuel tanks, in order to give more autonomy.
In 2019 the company repeated the feat, but with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and passengers on board. The initiative was carried out as part of the tests of the Sunrise Project, which intends to take this flight to London and other ultra-distant destinations from Sydney, without stopovers, and with a good number of passengers, which will make the route viable.
But the project was even suspended in the middle of the pandemic and it is not known when it will return. However, in the meantime, the airline will still fly Sunrise flights, but with another purpose: repatriation of Australian nationals.
According to the Executive Traveler portal, the company will make flights over the next two months to London, Paris and Frankfurt, where Australians who have been stranded on the European continent will meet to embark back to their country. The novelty is that flights leaving Australia may be on sale by the company, which has already said that the in-flight entertainment system will not be on, recommending bringing books. She also said that it will not be possible to block middle seats on the flight.
Of the repatriation flights, the longest will be London – Sydney, which in the Sunrise Project test lasted 19 hours and 30 minutes, covering 17,800 km, being the longest commercial flight with passengers to date.
It is worth remembering that, even so, the longest regular flight “title” continues with Singapore Airlines, as it makes a flight a little shorter, but on a regular basis for years, see how the pilots take turns on this flight :
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