Qantas has completed the world’s longest non-stop flight on a commercial airliner, spanning the globe from New York to Sydney with 50 passengers and crew members on board.
The flying kangaroo 16,200-kilometre test flight took 19 hours and 16 minutes, Qantas said on its Twitter account on Sunday.
Qantas QF 7879 departed New York’s John F Kennedy Airport on Friday night and landed in Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport on Sunday morning.
Currently, Singapore Airlines runs the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight from Singapore to Newark, which takes 18.5 hours.
Qantas had repurposed a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for the test flight with maximum fuel, restricted passenger and baggage loads, and no cargo, to allow the aircraft to operate the flight non-stop.
— Qantas (@Qantas) October 19, 2019
All carbon emissions will be offset with other measures to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, Qantas said.
Forty passengers, including Qantas executives, scientists, researchers and journalists, and 10 crew members were onboard the flight.
“The purpose of the record-breaking flight is to conduct scientific research on passengers and crew on an ultra-long-haul flight, with the aim of increasing health and wellness, minimising jetlag and identifying optimum crew rest and work periods,” Qantas said.
There will be two more additional research flights before the end of the year.
Qantas is planning to launch commercial flights connecting the Australian east coast cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with New York and London by 2022, which would save passengers up to four hours in total travel time.
Qantas last year started the Perth-London route, the only direct link between Australia and Europe.