SYDNEY (AFP) – Australian airline Qantas on Monday said it would launch the world’s first direct commercial flights connecting Sydney, London and New York by the end of 2025, with airline maker Airbus placing a multi-billion dollar order. The company said in a statement that it would purchase 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft from Sydney to cities such as London and New York under Project Sunrise by the end of 2025. Airbus last year announced pricing for its aircraft, the A350-1000 priced at $ 366.5 million, according to the 2018 quote. However, this price does not reflect the actual amount paid by the airlines because negotiations allow for lower prices, especially for larger orders. Thanks to A350 and Project Sunrise, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said, “Every city has only one flight from Australia.” Qantas conducted extended test flights in 2019, including a 17,750 km journey of 19 hours and 19 minutes between London and Sydney. That same year, a test flight over 16,200 km between New York and Sydney lasted more than 19 hours. Singapore Airlines currently operates the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight between Singapore and New York, which takes about 19 hours. To date, the longest direct flight operated by Qantas connects Darwin in northern Australia with London, extending approximately 14,000 km and taking 17 hours and 55 minutes. Initially the aircraft came from Perth in the west of the country, but it was moved to Darwin due to COVID-19 related restrictions in Australia. The company has announced the resumption of flights between Perth and London this year. “As you might expect, the aircraft is well-designed to ensure maximum comfort for long-haul flights,” Joyce said. The company has announced that the new A350 aircraft will be designed to carry a total of 238 passengers and will offer first class separate bed, reclining seat and locker. The company promises that seats in economy class will be in addition to the space allotted for “moving”.
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