“Airbus has given us an extra month to lock in an aircraft order without impacting our planned start date, which means we can spend more time on hopefully reaching a deal with our pilots. Despite his bluster and threatening to pull Project Sunrise altogether at times, it’s always been his baby and something he clearly wants to see through. These are the key questions and answers. Notwithstanding these PR road bumps, Qantas was on track to tie down the loose ends and officially give Project Sunrise the go-ahead in the first quarter of 2020. These will be the world's longest flights, with passengers facing a bum-numbing 18 to 20 hours between take-off and landing. Qantas pilots have been told Project Sunrise – the airline's plan for ultra-long flights connecting eastern Australia to North Atlantic destinations – will happen with or without them. Critics have tried to dismiss the Project Sunrise program as a PR stunt, coming as Qantas enters its centenary year, the 99th birthday sharing the date with QF7879's November 16 arrival into Sydney, where the milestone will be celebrated with a party attended by 1000 employees. “Coming out of this crisis, we will be the only Australian airline that can fly-long haul. Based in Melbourne, Australia. Also, in the latter half of 2019, coinciding with this activity, Qantas ran three Project Sunrise “research flights.” These flights flew from New York to Sydney and London to Sydney nonstop using existing Qantas’ 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Qantas is today announcing several important developments for Project Sunrise ahead of a final go/no go decision, which will now take place in March 2020. What Is Qantas’ Project Sunrise? Those Airbus A350-1000s suddenly looked very expensive. This is the second of three Project Sunrise research flights, … While Qantas has announced its preliminary plans to fly Project Sunrise with the Airbus A350-1000, the airline has a few hurdles to clear before officially announcing the go-ahead for the ultra-long-range flights. That meant the manufacturers would need to modify existing an aircraft line or come up with something new altogether. This aircraft uses the Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine, which has a strong reliability record after being in service with airlines for more than two years. No orders have been placed but Qantas will work closely with Airbus to prepare contract terms for up to 12 aircraft ahead of a final decision by the Qantas Board. Rightly, people pointed out that this was not how most people would get to experience any future Project Sunrise flights. None flew with a full payload. There was talk of in-flight gyms, cafes, and bunk beds. Qantas is piloting Project Sunrise as a research effort that’s meant to study the effects of extreme long-haul flying on both passengers and crew. Project Sunrise may refer to: . Typically, people asked what aircraft would Qantas use, and where would they fly? Last week, Airbus confirmed it had offered Qantas their A350-1000 for Project Sunrise. The long-legged Airbus A350s would depart from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and fly non-stop to New York, London, Paris, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. Working closely with airlines including Qantas and Virgin Australia, Andrew’s first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing Australian airlines adds exciting depth and color to his work and sees him providing commentary to ABC News and more. “Between the research flights and what we’ve learned from two years of flying Perth to London, we have a lot of confidence in the market for direct services like New York and London to the east coast of Australia. Qantas’ Alan Joyce remains bullish about Project Sunrise, but he isn’t about to provide a timeline of when the ultra-long-range flights might start. It was a tough choice between two very capable aircraft, made even harder by innovation from both manufacturers to improve on what they had already spent years designing.”, Sydney • Posted on 23rd December 2020, Merimbula • Posted on 18th December 2020, © The Official News Room of Qantas Airways Limited ABN 16 009 661 901, Qantas's Facebook Page (opens in new window), Qantas's Twitter Page (opens in new window), Qantas's Instagram Page (opens in new window), Qantas's LinkedIn Page (opens in new window), Qantas's YouTube Page (opens in new window), QANTAS AND JAPAN AIRLINES TO FORM JOINT BUSINESS TO DRIVE TOURISM RECOVERY, FLYING KANGAROO HOPS TO MERIMBULA FOR HOLIDAYS BY THE SEA, QANTAS CREATES MORE TRAVEL OPTIONS FOR CUSTOMERS ACROSS REGIONAL AUSTRALIA, Airbus A350 selected as preferred aircraft (no order placed), Deadline for confirming delivery slots extended by one month, Regulatory support for ultra long haul routes, pending formal application. Despite current problems, he is bullish about the future of both Qantas and flying in general. Instead, the flights operated with a handful of passengers all accommodated in lie-flat beds in business class. Mr Joyce’s comments did not take anyone by surprise. It’s also worth noting that Project Sunrise will be a defining career mark for a CEO who has helmed Qantas since 2008. MIAMI – Australian flag-carrier Qantas has announced that it will put its highly anticipated Project Sunrise on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once complete, Qantas will have almost 60 hours of ‘Sunrise flying’ experience and thousands of data points on crew and passenger wellbeing. But in the space of three months, Qantas had gone from bolstering its international network to suspending it entirely. The three flights over three months will use new Boeing 787 … So while timelines get pushed back and things are uncertain at the moment, it seems likely that Project Sunrise will go ahead in one form or another. Across 2019, Qantas international services were flying high, earning the airline nearly US$6 billion in revenue. With Boeing in turmoil and the 777X program under a cloud, Boeing desperately wanted to see their planes get up. Discussions centre on productivity and efficiency gains, including the ability to use the same pilots across its A350 Sunrise aircraft and the airline’s existing fleet of Airbus A330s. Lead Journalist - Australasia - A Masters level education and appetite for travel combines to make Andrew an incredible aviation brain with decades of insight behind him. The aircraft, registered VH-ZNI, is currently operating QF7879 from New York JFK to Sydney non-stop with 50 passengers and crew on board as the first commercial airline to operate this route. While Project Sunrise planes flying in 2023 is out the window, the Qantas CEO is still keen on the idea. Ostensibly, these flights were purely scientific and designed to replicate the conditions of the Project Sunrise ultra-long-haul flights. AstroFlight Sunrise, an early solar powered aircraft project; Kangaroo Route#Non-stop flights, a project by Australian airline Qantas, to fly non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London, Paris and New York City by 2022 But such was the hype surrounding Project Sunrise, both Airbus and Boeing went away like chastened kids and resubmitted their bids just a month later. Once complete, Qantas will have almost 60 hours of ‘Sunrise flying’ experience and thousands of data points on crew and passenger wellbeing. The flights form part of planning for Project Sunrise – Qantas’ goal to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from the east coast of Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) to London and New York. After detailed evaluation of the Boeing 777X and Airbus A350, Qantas has selected the A350-1000 as the preferred aircraft if Sunrise proceeds. Qantas has selected an aircraft for Project Sunrise, its plan to start nonstop flights from Sydney to New York and London that would be the longest in the world — and it’s a win for Airbus over Boeing. The plane Longreach, named for Qantas’s spiritual hometown, was adorned with a special livery featuring every Qantas logo since 1920. The Australian airline Qantas ran a test flight for its "Project Sunrise" initiative, a program to launch regular commercial service from Sydney to New York and Sydney to London. London to … “We don’t know how long domestic and international travel restrictions will last or what demand will look like as they’re gradually lifted,” said Qantas’ Alan Joyce at the time. An in-depth trip report on-board Qantas Project Sunrise London to Sydney non-stop research flight QF7879. The airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, called it the last frontier in aviation. Qantas’ headline-grabbing ultra-long-range flights looked like beginning in a few years and all was shaping up nicely. Qantas knocked them back. Based on detailed information already provided by Qantas on its fatigue risk management system, CASA has provisionally advised that it sees no regulatory obstacles to the Sunrise flights. Taking delivery of a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, Qantas has commenced the first of three Project Sunrise research flights. After initially delaying the expected Project Sunrise confirmation announcement, Qantas quietly put Project Sunrise on the back burner in May. No-one knew (and still they don’t) how long this would last. Currently the world’s longest flight is operated by Singapore Airlines’ A350-900ULR, as the airline flies nonstop between Singapore and Newark. Production of the 777X has been beset by delays but Boeing was reportedly very keen to make a competitive bid for Project Sunrise. Please Support us by turning off your adblocker. “From the outset, we’ve been clear that Project Sunrise depends on a business case that works. Qantas has named its endeavor “Project Sunrise” after the airline’s historic ‘Double Sunrise’ endurance flights during the Second World War, which remained airborne long enough to see two sunrises. Qantas has put forward a number of suggestions to AIPA on how the gap might be closed while still offering three per cent annual pay increases and promotional opportunities to its long haul pilots. Earlier this year, the airline was within weeks of ordering new planes to fly Project Sunrise routes. That flight covers a distance of over 9,500 miles and can take up to 18 hours. Qantas steadily worked through the feasibility and practicality of Project Sunrise, including undertaking three non-stop 'research flights' from New York and London to Sydney on a Boeing 787 in late 2019.. Having long maintained Qantas would make a choice by the end of 2019, attention is starting to focus on the airline and speculation about its choice is mounting. What is Project Sunrise? The company provided a further update on the project, when it announced its FY2020 half-year results on February 20, 2020. The last of three Project Sunrise research flights (New York to Sydney) will be conducted on 17 December. The question is when. Project Sunrise suddenly looked shaky on multiple fronts. This is the right choice for the Sunrise missions and it also has the right economics to do other long haul routes if we want it to. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the national carrier’s support for Project Sunrise was stronger than ever, particularly after the success of recent ‘dry run’ research flights. Perhaps the most surprising thing was the lack of publicity the decision got, but people were pre-occupied. The airline is looking to begin services to South Korea and Taiwan next year depending on whether travel bubbles between Australia and the two countries are established during the pandemic. Both manufacturers submitted their proposals last November. Qantas' own Alan Joyce stated that the airline was a couple of weeks away from ordering the Airbus A350 for Project Sunrise. Project Sunrise is the admittedly very catchy name for plans by Qantas to launch non-stop flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to London, New York and a handful of other destinations. The project in question has to do with the dedicated fleet of 12 Airbus A350-1000 Ultra Long Range (ULR)) aircraft, valued at around US$4.4b in list prices. For the next two years, speculations about Project Sunrise swirled among Qantas watchers. “The aircraft and engine combination is next generation technology but it’s thoroughly proven after more than two years in service. We use ads to keep our content free. Given Qantas does not expect to be flying international routes again until the latter half of 2021 and that it expects international demand to take years to rebound, it may be the second half of the decade before we see Project Sunrise flights take off. The well oiled Qantas PR machine fed the speculation – Capetown, Rio de Janeiro, Frankfurt were possible destinations. The data for crew will be used as part of final discussions with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to approve an extension to current operating limits required for these ultra long haul services. In this environment, no-one expressed surprise at Qantas’ decision. We’re offering promotions and an increase in pay but we’re asking for some flexibility in return, which will help lower our operating costs. While originally, Project Sunrise only encompassed two European destinations, Paris and London, the expansion to Frankfurt further… This provides additional time to negotiate an industrial agreement without impacting the planned start date of Project Sunrise flights in the first half of calendar 2023. Presciently, Qantas held off placing a firm order for the planes, wanting to nail down a few other issues around Project Sunrise, notably the continuing IR issues. But then COVID-19 hit, and like at many airlines across the globe, expenses had to be limited. Back in August 2017, Qantas challenged Boeing and Airbus to deliver an aircraft capable of flying regular direct services like Sydney-London, Brisbane-Paris, and Melbourne-New York nonstop with a full payload by 2022 (later pushed back to 2023). Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and Qantas Captain Lisa Norman will be on the first Project Sunrise research flight from New York to Sydney. We want to expand out of this when our balance sheet will allow, and picking up where we left off on Project Sunrise.”. “Can I thank both Airbus and Boeing for the tremendous effort they have put into Project Sunrise. But the flights were widely derided in Australia as marketing stunts. The last of three Project Sunrise research flights (New York to Sydney) will be conducted on 17 December. Everyone figured it was down to either a modified Airbus A350 or Boeing 777X. Qantas is ready to add Frankfurt to the Project Sunrise route map. Rumor has it Boeing submitted a very price competitive offer. Behind the scenes, Qantas was using Project Sunrise as an IR battering ram to push through workplace reforms. As it stood, neither aircraft manufacturer produced an aircraft with the legs to fly between, say, Sydney and New York nonstop with an economically viable payload. For sure, the ultra-long-range flights did need changes to existing agreements concerning work hours and rostering, but Qantas quietly weaponized Project Sunrise and its potential benefits, threatening to pull the idea altogether if unions did not come to the table and agree to reforms that did not just apply to the proposed Project Sunrise flights but the broader Qantas Group. In time for Christmas, Qantas announced a modified version of the A350-1000 was its preferred aircraft. That headline is still a prediction, but it looks like it will very quickly become fact. Qantas is about to fly a near-empty plane from London Heathrow airport to Sydney as part of “Project Sunrise”. “We’ve done a lot of work on the economics and we know the last gap we have to close is some efficiency gains associated with our pilots. Now, the ambitious plan sits indefinitely shelved as the airline flies through the unpredicted headwinds of 2020. “The A350 is a fantastic aircraft and the deal on the table with Airbus gives us the best possible combination of commercial terms, fuel efficiency, operating cost and customer experience. Meanwhile, Qantas was also playing hardball with Boeing and Airbus. Revenue, the lifeblood of any airline, was evaporating fast, and expenses needed to get reined in. Reports indicate that Australian carrier Qantas will eventually go ahead with its plan to order aircraft specifically for Project Sunrise. “International travel demand could take years to return to what it was.”. Qantas' (QF/QFA) ambitious plan, Project Sunrise has yet again been expanded to include a new destination, Frankfurt, Germany. Sign up to our daily aviation news digest. The discussions are aimed at closing the last remaining gap in the Project Sunrise business case. This will see the airline eventually operate service out of the main Qantas hub at Sydney to faraway destinations like London and New York. While this may seem like a small addition, this new destination brings to light past sour experiences for the airline. Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest. Qantas was measuring fatigue levels, rostering, optimum meal times, and how the body handles prolonged periods inside an aircraft flying through multiple time zones. But it also comes as the carrier is pushing jetmakers Airbus and Boeing to figure out an upgrade to their aircraft that could allow regular flights between Australia’s east coast and London. Airbus will add an additional fuel tank and slightly increase the maximum takeoff weight to deliver the performance required for Sunrise routes. The clock is ticking for an announcement regarding Project Sunrise. We’ll only commit to this investment if we know it will generate the right return for our shareholders given the inherent commercial risks. In addition, travel demand dried up fast, powered by health concerns and border closures. Qantas spins its Project Sunrise research flights Also, in the latter half of 2019, coinciding with this activity, Qantas ran three Project Sunrise “research flights.” These flights flew from New York to Sydney and London to Sydney nonstop using existing Qantas’ 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Airbus has agreed to extend the deadline to confirm delivery slots from February 2020 to March 2020. Decisions were getting made, and deadlines were approaching. Industrial negotiations with representatives for Qantas pilots, AIPA, are continuing. 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