Qantas has reactivated its Project Sunrise for non-stop flights between Australia’s east coast and London and New York and expects to confirm its order by mid-year.
At the same time, the airline has promised to add more domestic flights to Perth in April and May.
Speaking at the airline’s half-year announcement Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said that passenger surveys had shown a stronger desire for non-stops.
Just before COVID Qantas announced a plan to buy 12 A350-1000s to operate the non-stop flights for delivery in 2023 but the aircraft will now be delivered in 2025.
The A350-1000s will also be used on the Perth-London nonstop route lifting capacity and they are also capable of flying from Perth to Los Angeles nonstop.
Mr. Joyce added that over the past two years Airbus has continued to work on design changes required for the A350 to meet the Qantas mission.
Qantas committed to Project Sunrise in December 2019 saying:
“After a detailed evaluation of the Boeing 777X and Airbus A350, Qantas has selected the A350-1000 as the preferred aircraft if Sunrise proceeds. This aircraft uses the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine, which has a strong reliability record after being in service with airlines for more than two years. Airbus will add an additional fuel tank and slightly increase the maximum takeoff weight to deliver the performance required for Sunrise routes.”
“No orders have been placed but Qantas will work closely with Airbus to prepare contract terms for up to 12 aircraft ahead of a final decision by the Qantas Board.”
Mr. Joyce also confirmed that the airline is working with Perth Airport to launch flights to Johannesburg.
The airline also promised to add more domestic capacity to interstate domestic routes to and from Perth in April and May.
Yesterday the airline added 280 domestic flights into and out of Perth to its March schedule.