Qantas Airways testing 'final frontier in aviation'

By , Jonathan GarberTransportationFOXBusiness

Boeing 737 Max grounding weighing on the airline industry

FBN's Grady Trimble on the impact of the Boeing 737 Max grounding on the airline industry.

One of the world’s longest flights is preparing for takeoff in October.

Continue Reading Below

Qantas Airways announced Thursday it will run three ultra-long haul non-stop test flights from Sydney to New York and London in order to better understand the toll they take on the human body. Each flight will take about 19 hours.

“Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a press release.

The “Project Sunrise” research flights, which will take place in October, November and December, will use new Boeing 787-9 aircraft and have a maximum of 40 passengers, mostly Qantas employees.


Passengers will be fitted with wearable technology in order to track their wellbeing, and the data will be analyzed by scientists and medical experts.

In March 2018, Qantas launched a flight from Perth, Australia, to London. That flight takes about 17 hours. A month later, Singapore Airlines announced a 19-hour flight from Singapore to New York.

But this will be the first time a commercial flight is flown from Sydney to New York, and just the second time from Sydney to London, Qantas said.

While there’s excitement around Qantas’ test flights, they may not be here to stay.


“There’s plenty of enthusiasm for Sunrise, but it’s not a foregone conclusion,” Joyce said. “This is ultimately a business decision and the economics have to stack up.”

What do you think?

Click the button below to comment on this article.