Qantas considering 20-hour direct flight between Australia and NY

Qantas to test non-stop flights to London and New York

Qantas to test non-stop flights to London and New York

Boeing is to offer Qantas its larger 777X-9 for delivery in 2021 to launch its Project Sunrise non-stop flights from NY and London to Sydney as an interim solution suggest sources in the US.

The iconic Australian airline will use re-purposed Boeing 787-9 delivery flights for the 19-hour research journeys scheduled for October, November and December this year.

Qantas a year ago introduced the first direct service from the western Australian city of Perth to London, with the 17-hour journey one of the longest passenger flights in the world.

Qantas pilots will collect the Boeing 787-9s from Boeing's factory in Seattle, where they will be flown to their starting points of NY for two of the flights and London for one flight.

Scientists and medical experts from the Charles Perkins Centre will fit people in the cabin with wearable monitors on the research flights, to track how sleep patterns, movement, cabin lighting and what they eat, drink and watch affects their health and body clock.

Qantas said Thursday it will simulate the world's longest direct flights with Boeing Dreamliners as soon as October.

The on-board research will be conducted in partnership with Sydney University's Charles Perkins Centre and Monash University in conjunction with the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity.

Meanwhile Monash University researchers will put electroencephalogram monitors on pilots' heads to track their brain waves and measure their alertness levels before, during and after the flights.

Both Airbus and Boeing have pitched aircraft for the ultra long-haul routes, and Joyce said it was still not a "foregone conclusion" which plane will be chosen. Customer feedback on food choices, separate stretching and wellbeing zones, as well as entertainment options, will also be tested. "For crew, it's about using scientific research to determine the best opportunities to promote alertness when they are on duty and maximise rest during their down time on these flights".

Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce labelled the flights as the "final frontier in aviation". The airline said it would make a decision on whether to start the flights by the end of the year. "We'll also be looking at how we can use it to improve our existing long-haul flights".

The company announced a 17% drop in underlying profits before tax to $1.30 billion, compared to the 2018 financial year.

The airline was hit by an Aus$614 million fuel bill increase and Aus$154 million in foreign exchange impacts.

If it does come into effect, you'll be in the Big Apple in no time.

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