Qantas Wants to Launch Nonstop Flights from Australia to New York by 2022

Aug 24, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Some airlines are going bankrupt and others are losing vast amounts of money, but Qantas is bucking the trend. Tomorrow, the Australian carrier is expected to announce the second-largest profit in company history. At the same time, the airline is set to announce an ambitious goal: launching nonstop flights from Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL) and Brisbane (BNE) to London (LHR) and New York (likely JFK) by 2022.

The trouble is that there are no aircraft that can make the up to 10,600-mile journeys (17,050 km). So, Qantas is going to have to lean on Airbus and Boeing to create even longer-range versions of their current aircraft. Both aircraft manufacturers are working on new ultra-long range versions of existing aircraft: the A350-900ULR and 777-8X, respectively — but even those would not suffice. Australian Business Traveler quotes Qantas CEO Alan Joyce as saying these still would fall short “with passengers and luggage at full capacity.”

Maybe you’ve already seen Qantas planes in New York or London and are wondering what the difference would be. It’s true that the airline already flies to these cities. However, both flights require a stop to refuel.

For the NYC route, Qantas flight #11 stops for just under two hours in Los Angeles (LAX), making the total journey in 20:50 hours, in a Boeing 747-400. A nonstop from SYD toJFK would take around 18 hours. It seems Qantas executives aren’t focused on the 2:50 hour total time difference as much as the ability to allow passengers 18 hours of continuous flight time to allow a more flexible sleep schedule, without having to deplane for the transfer at LAX. The same goes for London, the same distance from Sydney as New York, which Qantas now reaches with an A380 stopping in Dubai.

Will it work? Perhaps, but these flights aren’t likely to launch by 2022. Developing a new aircraft, even a new version of a current design, takes a significant amount of time and investment by an aircraft manufacturer. And Airbus or Boeing would likely need demand from other airlines before launching such an expensive program. If that hurdle is cleared, initial aircraft manufacturing and testing can take years. Just check how long the Dreamliner took to be certified and delivered.

There’s no word yet whether Qantas would arrange the new plane with no economy seating. Singapore Airlines is planning to launch a similar flight from New York’s JFK to Singapore (SIN) using the forthcoming Airbus A350-900ULR. It will be the worlds’ longest-distance nonstop flight at 9,543 miles, and even that would fall a thousand miles short of the proposed Qantas whoppers.

Singapore plans to install only business class and premium economy on its A350-900ULRs (the acronym stands for Ultra Long Range.) If Qantas does opt to have economy seating for the 18-hour flight, we can at least hope for a generous pitch and lots of seat padding.

Would you want to fly nonstop for 18 hours?

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.