Qantas to put more experienced crew on board world’s longest flights

Qantas Airways could buy up to 12 Airbus A350 planes for the commercial flights of up to 21 hours that includes the Sydney-London route. (AFP)
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Updated 16 December 2019

Qantas to put more experienced crew on board world’s longest flights

  • Qantas could buy up to 12 Airbus A350 planes for the commercial flights of up to 21 hours that includes the Sydney-London route
  • Carrier has conducted crew fatigue studies on London-Sydney and New York-Sydney test flights

SYDNEY: Qantas Airways plans to have more experienced pilots on board the world’s longest non-stop flights than on its current long-haul flights for the first 18 months as it evaluates fatigue, said sources with knowledge of the matter.
The airline said last week it could buy up to 12 Airbus A350 planes for the commercial flights of up to 21 hours that includes the Sydney-London route, but the deal depends on pilots voting to approve a pay agreement in March.
“To be clear, we have not yet placed an order for this aircraft because we still have a gap to close in the business case,” Qantas Chief Pilot Dick Tobiano said in an internal memo to pilots seen by Reuters.
Qantas said Australia’s aviation regulator had provisionally advised it saw no regulatory obstacles to the flights, which could extend pilot duty times to as long as 23 hours to account for potential delays. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The airline has conducted crew fatigue studies on London-Sydney and New York-Sydney test flights.
On its current long-haul flights, Qantas has a crew of one captain, one first officer and two second officers, the latter of which can only fly at cruising altitudes and cannot perform takeoffs or landings.
Rival Singapore Airlines uses two captains and two first officers on its near-19 hours flights from Singapore to New York.
Qantas has offered to crew non-stop flights to London and New York with one captain, two first officers and one second officer for the first 18 months so it can evaluate fatigue-related issues, according to its pilot union newsletter, two pilots and a company source familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak with media. Qantas declined to comment.
Qantas has proposed the pilots on its A330 fleet, which fly mostly cross-country and Asian flights, also fly the ultralong-haul missions on the A350, since they can be licensed on both models.
Adam Susz, a 737 captain and union negotiator for the Australian and International Pilots Association, said Qantas had tabled a draft proposal that had been deemed unacceptable by the union committee, in part because it introduced a lower pay scale for new second officers. But he said talks would resume in the new year.
“I am pretty confident that we will get agreement in the end,” Susz told Reuters on Monday. “I don’t think the issues are insurmountable but there are a couple of elements to the Qantas proposal that we find extremely unpalatable and we will avoid those the best we can.”


Aramco chief sees demand for oil staying above 100m barrels

Updated 23 January 2020

Aramco chief sees demand for oil staying above 100m barrels

  • A panel on the global energy outlook at the WEF in Davos heard that renewable energy alone would not be able to meet rising demand for power as more people moved into the middle class
  • The panel also heard that coal, not oil, remained the biggest source of carbon emissions

DAVOS: Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said he expected global oil demand to stay above the 100 million barrels threshold as the rise of the global middle class spurred demand for energy.
A panel on the global energy outlook at the World Economic Forum in Davos heard that renewable energy alone would not be able to meet rising demand for power as more people moved into the middle class.
“There will be additional demand and the only way to meet it is if you continue to provide affordable, reliable and viable energy to the rest of the world,” said the Aramco CEO.
“There is good penetration from renewables and electric cars are picking up however you need to consider what is happening in the world. There are still an additional 2 billion people coming. There are currently 3 billion people using biomass, animal dung, kerosene for cooking and there are 1 billion people today without electricity and almost 50 percent of people have never flown in an aeroplane.”
The panel heard that coal, not oil, remained the biggest source of carbon emissions but that the location of many coal-fired power plants in developing Asian economies meant that reducing its impact was a major challenge.
“The number one source of emissions by far is the coal fire power plants – they alone are responsible for one third of emissions,” said International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol. “But they are in many cases the number one source of electricity generation in low income countries - so this is not a black and white issue.”