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Project Sunrise has been pushed back by one year due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The CEO of Qantas stated they would revisit the idea of Project Sunrise at the end of 2021 with a view to start flights in 2024.
Project Sunrise introduces Long Haul flights to Australia (Melbourne and Sydney) from London, Paris and New York. The difference being these flights will be non stop removing the need for a layover at airports such as Dubai and Singapore opening up a premium market for direct flights not currently available. Qantas halted the plans at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic after initially being scheduled for 2023.
In 2019, Qantas completed three test flights and became dubbed as the “double sunrise” flights. The second test flight was carried out from London to Sydney with a flight time of just under 19 and a half hour on the non-stop flight. The flight was completed almost one hundred years to the day that the first flight from the UK to Australia took place, the flight went from the now-closed Hounslow Heath Airport (which is now a nature reserve).
The project is an exciting development for Qantas and the future of ultra-long-haul flights generally across the aviation industry.