It’s been a few interesting months for Qantas, as the airline looks to push the boundaries of ultra long haul flight. The airline successfully completed two test flights between New York, London and Sydney, proving that “the impossible” is indeed possible, albeit quite challenging when it comes to getting enough people and cargo on board to make such a flight profitable.
Boeing and Airbus each tendered an offer to provide the best aircraft for the job, and in a plot twist, Qantas recently pushed back saying that neither had presented a strong enough case. Qantas has now gone back on that, choosing the Airbus A350-1000 as the potential winner, but there’s one thing no one is talking about – Qantas says it still just might not happen.
Basically: a vote won’t take place until March 2020, a time when Qantas’ board will decide on the viability of actually ever launching these ultra-long-haul services. At that time, assuming it’s a go, the airline could then go ahead with placing orders for up to 12 aircraft. That’s wonderful, but that would then mean at best, a substantial lag before the new jets could be certified, modified and fitted for flight.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Qantas, I love the concept of connecting the world with more non stop flights than ever, but so much can change in the airline world in six months, let alone two years. It’s just hard to shout from the rooftops about something so hypothetical, given all the variables at play here.
To make a long story slightly shorter, you can keep your wallet in your pocket, at least for now. If, and that’s a big “if” Qantas ever goes through with the project, it’s still years off. If we see a publicly avail Qantas Project Sunrise flight take flight before the end of 2022, I’ll donate $1000 to the charity of Alan Joyce’s choice, assuming he’s still there in two years. Things just change so fast these days.