Qantas begins preparing and equipping planes for return of international flights in Sydney. Source: Reuters
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  • Qantas (QAN) reveals major flight plans which includes direct flights from Sydney to London and New York from 2025, the longest passenger flights in the world
  • The airline has purchased 12 Airbus A350-1000s to operate the routes under “Project Sunrise” to meet the anticipated increased demand for international travel
  • Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the airline is looking for ways to make the lengthy new routes pleasant for passengers, including a “wellbeing zone” in the centre of the planes
  • The aircrafts will also be carbon neutral with less noise, improving the way people travel with Qantas
  • QAN shares are up 2.77 per cent, trading at $5.76 each

Qantas (QAN) has unveiled major operational updates, including direct flights from Sydney to London and New York from 2025, which will be the longest passenger flights in the world.

These long-haul flights are expected to take more than 19 hours, with a test flight from New York to Sydney in 2019 taking 19 hours and 16 minutes.

To cater for its anticipated return to international travel in a post-COVID world, the airline group has bought 12 Airbus A350-1000s to operate the routes under “Project Sunrise”, and says the plane “will have the range for direct flights between Australia and any city in the world”.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the airline is looking for ways to make the lengthy new routes pleasant for passengers, including a “wellbeing zone” in the centre of the planes.

“The cabin is being specifically designed for maximum comfort in all classes for long-haul flying,” he said.

The aircrafts will also be carbon neutral with less noise, improving the way people travel with Qantas.

“These newer aircraft and engines will reduce emissions by at least 15 per cent if running on fossil fuels, and significantly better when run on Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

“This order brings us closer to our commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.”

The new A350-1000s will carry 238 passengers across all four classes of travel with more than 40 per cent of the cabin dedicated to premium seating.

The airline’s domestic fleet will also be revamped with 40 new Airbus A321s and A220s to replace the existing Boeing 737s and 717s as part of “Project Winton”.

The first of these aircraft will start to arrive in late 2023, with the order including purchase right options for another 94 aircraft for delivery through to at least 2034.

The company has said that it is seeing a strong, sustained recovery in travel demand as the country transitions to living with COVID.

The return of domestic travel demand ahead of expectations, solid international performance, and strong contributions from Qantas Loyalty and Freight drove significant levels of positive free cash flow in the quarter.

Qantas still expects to post a significant full year underlying earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) loss for FY22.

However, the business is on track for 2H22 underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of between $450 million to $550 million based on current expectations.

QAN shares were up 2.77 per cent, trading at $5.76 as of 12:21 pm AEST.

QAN by the numbers
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