Qantas urges airline manufacturers to cross final frontier

Qantas urges airline manufacturers to cross final frontier

Qantas has urged aircraft manufacturers to go the extra mile and develop an aircraft that is able to link Australia to anywhere in the world.

“We want the hop to be completely eradicated,” said Gareth Evans, chief executive, international, at Qantas.

“Australasia and Europe are the last two continents on earth that are not connected by a direct air connection.”

Qantas has unveiled plans to link Perth and London, using the Dreamliner 787-9 from spring next year.

The 14,498-kilometre service will be the first regular passenger service to directly link Europe to Australia when it begins in March 2018.

However, the carrier wants to go one step further, with a new plane able to operate routes between London-Sydney, Paris-Brisbane or Melbourne-New York, for example.

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Speaking at the Aviation Festival earlier today in London, Evans added: “We want to be able to make these routes in one go and we have been talking to the manufacturers about this.

“We want an aircraft that can do this.

“It will knock four hours off the total flying time, if we were able to remove the stop-over on the way.”

Both Airbus and Boeing are currently working on aircraft that might be able to complete these routes.

Airbus is developing the A350ULR, which has a listed maximum range of 9,700 nautical miles, while the Boeing 777X, set to enter service in 2019, has a range of 8,700 nautical miles.

The flight from Sydney to London is approximately 9,200 nautical miles. 

“Both manufactures have taken on the challenge and have said their teams are working on it,” added Evans.

“Hopefully both will be able to come up with a solution, which would be fantastic, not just for us, for the industry as a whole.

“With this technology you can fly from anywhere to anywhere.”