Qantas wants to make sure that travellers can handle the long haul from Sydney to New York and London without stopping.
It has been announced that they will run three ultra long haul research flights which are 19 hours each to see how passengers and crew handle the experience. This will be rolled out later this year. The Boeing 787-9 will carry mostly employees and a maximum of 40 people.
The airlines hopes to get an insight into how passengers sleep, eat, drink, move and manage the flight. They will do this by the passengers wearing devices that provide the information which will be recorded. The melatonin levels of pilots before, during and after the flights will be of interest to researches. Finding from other long haul flights will also be tested. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said “Ultra-long-haul flying presents a lot of common-sense questions about the comfort and well-being of passengers and crew, these flights are going to provide invaluable data to help answer them”.
The scheduled test flight will be in October, November and December and run from New York to Sydney and this will be the first time a commercial airline flies this route directly. The second route from London to Sydney has only operated once before. This venture has been a long time in the making and to everyday travellers it sounds mind- boggling. But Qantas started flying from Perth Australia to London early last year and this flight last more than 17 hours. Alan Joyce also said “Flying nonstop 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”.