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Qantas Plans Nonstop Flights from Australia to the World with Project Sunrise

Australian flag carrier Qantas wants to be the airline with the world’s longest flights, with nonstops between the island nation and New York and London aboard Airbus A350-1000 airframes.
Qantas wants to offer flyers non-stop service from the island nation to the world’s population centers aboard Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, in an ambitious plan codenamed “Project Sunrise.”


In a press release, the airline announced the order for 12 of the Airbus next generation widebody airframes, which Qantas claims could fly from the island nation to “any other city” in the world.


Aircraft to Feature 238 Seats in Four Classes, With Nearly Half Dedicated to Premium Classes

When the 12 A350-1000 aircraft are delivered to the Australian flag carrier, they will feature the fewest seats among A350 airframes in operation today. Over 40 percent of the 238 seats will be dedicated to three premium classes: First, business, and premium economy.


A Qantas A350-1000 Fact Sheet details plans for the new aircraft. Image courtesy: Qantas


First class flyers will be seated in six private suites, featuring a recliner-lounge chair, separate bed, and a personal wardrobe all within the space. The 52 “next-generation business suite” is a semi-private seating option with direct aisle access. Aircraft will also feature 40 premium economy seats with 40 inches of pitch in a 2-4-2 configuration, while the remaining 140 economy seats will be configured 3-3-3 across with 33 inches of pitch.


Render of the Qantas Airbus A350-1000 first class suite. Image courtesy: Qantas


All flyers will have access to a Wellbeing Zone lounge, designed to help travelers hydrate and stretch during the extended trips. The lounge is expected to offer water bottles, light snacks, and stretching instructions to help travelers stay limber while on the trip.


Render of the planned Qantas Airbus A350-1000 Wellness Zone. Image courtesy; Qantas


“The A350 and Project Sunrise will make almost any city in the world just one flight away from Australia,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a press release. “It’s the last frontier and the final fix for the tyranny of distance that has traditionally challenged travel to Australia.”


The first trips are expected to launch by 2025 with direct trips to New York and London. Qantas eventually expects to expand the direct flight options to Paris and Frankfurt as well.


New Flights First Step in Aircraft Renewal Plan

With international travel reopening, Qantas is also using the opportunity to revitalize their existing fleet under codename “Project Winton.” The carrier currently has firm orders for 20 Airbus A321XLR and 20 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, which will ultimately replace their existing Boeing 717 and 737 airframes.

206driver May 19, 2022

Plane pictured is not an A350

CPRich May 11, 2022

Actual statement: "Project Sunrise will make almost any city in the world just one flight away"

Article: "Qantas claims could fly from the island nation to “any other city” in the world."


AADFW May 10, 2022

I may be in the minority, but I'd almost always rather break up a 17-hour flight into two managable segments with an overnight stopover somewhere along the route. Two 8(-ish) hour flights with a comfortable bed and a warm shower in between seems so much more plesant. I don't really understand those who think that spending 18+ continuous hours on a flight is better. 

ajf87 May 9, 2022

This is going to be basically be unobtanium in terms of award flights, at least in the premium cabins.

englishp May 4, 2022

"they will feature the fewest seats among A350 airframes in operation today" - Was this meant to say the fewest seats amount A350-1000 airframes? 238 seats is considerably more than the 161 seats on the SIA A350-900 ULR.