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. 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?

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

This cash back card has a focus on dining and entertainment where you can earn unlimited 4% cash back in those spending categories. You can also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Balance Transfer Fee
$0
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are 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.