The first longest non-stop commercial passenger flight has been successfully completed, with Australian airline Qantas carrying out a test flight from New York to Sydney.
The 10,066-mile flight took a little over 19 hours with 49 people on board a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Passengers and crew on board the Qantas flight were monitored by researchers from Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre, Monash University and the Alertness Safety and Productivity Cooperative Research Centre to research the potential impacts of non-stop long haul flights on humans.
Qantas will carry out another test flight from London to Sydney in November and another New York to Sydney flight before the end of the year.
“This is a really significant first for aviation. Hopefully, it’s a preview of a regular service that will speed up how people travel from one side of the globe to the other,” Qantas Group Chief Executive, Alan Joyce, said in a statement. “We know ultra long haul flights pose some extra challenges but that’s been true every time technology has allowed us to fly further. The research we’re doing should give us better strategies for improving comfort and wellbeing along the way.”
Qantas hopes to offer non-stop flights from Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne to New York and London by 2022 or 2023.