Qantas challenges Boeing and Airbus for more range

August 24, 2017
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Qantas is challenging Boeing and Airbus to refine their latest ultra-long-range jets to enable the airline to fly virtually anywhere in the world non-stop.

The Australian airline wants to be able fly non-stop between the east coast of Australia to London and New York within five years.

Qantas will announce its aircraft wish list as part of its 2017 results announcement in Sydney on Friday August 25.

The airline said in a statement that “no aircraft currently in service has the range to fly these direct routes with passengers and luggage at full capacity.”

“Two next-generation aircraft that are currently in development – Boeing’s 777X and a long-range version of Airbus’ A350 (the -900ULR)– can get close.”

“Qantas has issued a challenge to both Airbus and Boeing to extend the range of the new aircraft under development and make these non-stop flights possible by 2022,” the statement said.

Both the 777X and A350 series offer significant improvements in passenger comfort, fuel burn and range over the aircraft they are replacing.

Qantas is keen to develop more non-stop routes after the surge of bookings for the Perth to London Boeing 787 non-stop service that will start in March.

A direct flight from Melbourne / Sydney / Brisbane to London would cut up to four hours off total passenger journey time to just over 20 hours and three hours for a direct flight to New York.

The airline said customer research showed that the transit stop airport experience is often one of the most stressful parts of the journey, particularly where a connecting flight is involved.

“Direct flights reduce interruptions mid-flight which often interfere with sleeping, eating or movie watching,” the airline said.

Qantas said “that removing the need to stop at a particular airport en-route also means airline flight planners can choose the fastest and most efficient route between Australia and London/New York depending on weather and prevailing winds.”

As part of its feasibility assessment, Qantas is already running wind route analysis using the power of cloud computing.

This involves processing up to 10 years’ worth of real-world weather patterns to run different flight path scenarios to form a statistical picture of fuel burn and therefore aircraft range on the key routes.



  1. Well... I hope Boeing will come with something with the new 777X or something with the 787-9 because Airbus can take that.. I think Boeing should come with that development to keep the legacy when they introduced the 707 and 747 for long-haul flights. However, QANTAS also need to evaluate the long journey because not only having a plane to flight that long is enough, how the conditions of the cabin would be healthy for passengers... 20 hours inside of a plane is long...I'm a Big fan of stops to make it easier and "breathable"... probably I will keep flying SYD-LHR with stop in LAX or DXB or SIN or HKG.. or PERTH to come...
  2. Dolphin1966 interesting thoughts. However, the 777X and A350, like the 787, feature higher humidity, lower cabin pressurization altitudes, and far better air filtration systems that make long, long trips far easy on the body. Best Geoffrey Thomas Editor-in-Chief