Qantas completes longest non-stop New York-Sydney flight

1 / 2
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, bottom right, welcomes the crew of a Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner after the completion of a non-stop test flight from New York to Sydney. (AFP)
2 / 2
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner touched down in Sydney early Sunday morning. (File/AP)
Updated 21 October 2019

Qantas completes longest non-stop New York-Sydney flight

  • The flight was 19 hours and 16 minutes long
  • Qantas says tests ranged from monitoring pilot brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness to exercise classes for passengers

SYDNEY: Australia’s Qantas on Sunday completed the first non-stop commercial flight from New York to Sydney, which was used to run a series of tests to assess the effects of ultra long-haul flights on crew fatigue and passenger jetlag.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner touched down in Sydney early on Sunday morning after a flight of 19 hours and 16 minutes — the world’s longest.

Qantas said tests ranged from monitoring pilot brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness to exercise classes for passengers. A total of 49 people were on board, in order to minimize weight and give the necessary fuel range.

“Overall, we’re really happy with how the flight went and it’s great to have some of the data we need to help assess turning this into a regular service,” said Capt. Sean Golding, who led the four pilots.

The flight was part of Project Sunrise — Qantas’ goal to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from Australia’s east coast cities of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York. Two more research flights are planned as part of the project evaluations — London to Sydney in November and another New York to Sydney in December.

 

 

“We know ultra long-haul flights pose some extra challenges but that’s been true every time technology has allowed us to fly farther. The research we’re doing should give us better strategies for improving comfort and wellbeing along the way,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

Night flights usually start with dinner and then lights off, but he said that for this flight, “we started with lunch and kept the lights on for the first six hours, to match the time of day at our destination. It means you start reducing the jetlag straight away.”

Prof. Marie Carroll from the University of Sydney said that she and fellow passengers did a lot of stretching and group exercises at prescribed intervals.

“We did the macarena in the economy cabin,” she said.

 

Decoder

Project Sunrise

Project Sunrise is Qantas’ goal to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from Australia’s east coast cities to London and New York.


Lufthansa accepts tweaked demands by Brussels over state bailout

Updated 30 May 2020

Lufthansa accepts tweaked demands by Brussels over state bailout

  • Lufthansa and the rest of the airline sector have been hard hit by what is expected to be a protracted travel slump

BERLIN/FRANKFURT: Lufthansa’s management board has accepted a more favorable set of demands from the European Commission in exchange for approval of a $10 billion government bailout, the carrier said on Saturday, paving the way for its rescue.
The agreement comes after the airline’s supervisory board on Wednesday rejected an initial deal with Brussels including conditions that were significantly more painful.
Lufthansa and the rest of the airline sector have been hard hit by what is expected to be a protracted travel slump due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the latest agreement, Lufthansa said it will be obliged to transfer up to 24 takeoff and landing slots for up to four aircraft to one rival each at the Frankfurt and Munich airports.
This translates into three take-off and three landing rights per aircraft and day, it said, confirming what sources had earlier told Reuters.
“For one-and-a-half years, this option is only available to new competitors at the Frankfurt and Munich airports,” Lufthansa said, initially excluding budget carrier Ryanair. “If no new competitor makes use of this option, it will be extended to existing competitors at the respective airports.”
The previous deal had included forfeiting 72 slots used by 12 of 300 jets based at the Frankfurt and Munich airports, a source familiar with the matter said.
The slots, to be allocated in a bidding process, can be taken over only by a European peer that has not received any substantial state aid during the pandemic, Lufthansa said.
The Commission said once it has been officially notified by Germany on the aid package it will assess the issue as a matter of priority.
“(Lufthansa’s remedies will) enable a viable entry or expansion of activities by other airlines at these airports to the benefit of consumers and effective competition,” it said in a statement.
The airline’s supervisory board needs to approve the deal, Lufthansa said, adding it would convene an extraordinary general meeting to obtain shareholder approval for the bailout.
The largest German corporate rescue since the coronavirus crisis struck will see the government get a 20 percent stake in Lufthansa, which could rise to 25 percent plus one share in the event of a takeover attempt. A deal would also give the government two seats on Lufthansa’s supervisory board.
Rivals such as Franco-Dutch group Air France-KLM and US carriers American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are all seeking state aid due to the economic effects of the pandemic.
Germany, which has set up a $110 billion fund to take stakes in companies hit by the pandemic, said it plans to sell the Lufthansa stake by the end of 2023.
“The German government, Lufthansa and the European Commission have reached an important intermediate step in the aid negotiations,” the Economy Ministry said in a statement.
It said talks with the Commission over state aid would continue.