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Project Sunrise Flights

Project Sunrise Flights

Project Sunrise is the long-awaited ambitious plan of Qantas Airlines to establish non-stop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York. Once operational, these flights will be the longest commercial flights in the world. Currently, the longest flight is flown by Singapore Airlines, from Singapore Changi (SIN) to New York (JFK), elapsing 18.5 hours. The name 'Project Sunrise' was inspired by covert World War II flights from Perth to Sri Lanka that were headed to London - they lasted so long that they witnessed two sunrises. Qantas has been working on this project since 2017 and if it were not for the disruptions and loss of air traffic brought upon by Covid-19, the project would've been up and ready for operations by 2022-2023. Project Sunrise is now scheduled to start operations in 2024-2025. 

Are you interested in knowing all about Project Sunrise? We have covered all the details regarding Project Sunrise on this page, including its launch date, the aircraft Qantas intends to deploy on this project, the expected routes, cabin configuration, and much more.

Project Sunrise Launch Date

The first Project Sunrise flights are anticipated to take off before the end of 2025. Sydney to London and Sydney to New York will be the first routes, with more destinations to follow after the initial launch. Qantas had originally planned to start operating on Project Sunrise flights from 2023 and the airline has been working and researching these record-breaking flights since 2017, however, the airline was forced to park this project because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Moreover, Qantas had originally planned to place the order of aircraft for this project by 2020 but was of course unable to do so because of the pandemic. The airline announced in May of 2022 that it has resumed its preparation for the project and announced the official order for the aircraft to be deployed on these stretched routes. 

Aircraft to be used for Project Sunrise

Back in August 2017, Qantas pushed Boeing and Airbus to complete a plane by 2022 that could fly regular direct routes including Sydney-London, Brisbane-Paris, and Melbourne-New York nonstop. Boeing pitched their 777x aircraft series while Airbus pushed their Airbus A350-1000 for the project. Rumour has it, Boeing offered a very generous discount to Qantas for their 777x aircraft but Qantas rejected the enticing offer and chose to go with Airbus' A350 XWB aircraft. The airline's decision to not go with Boeing's 777x aircraft made sense because of the problems with the delivery date of the aircraft. 777x has been constantly getting delayed by Boeing and the company has stated that it won't be able to deliver its first 777x before 2025. 

Qantas has selected Airbus A350-1000 for its project Sunrise, which is ultra long range variant of the Airbus A350 family. In May 2022, Qantas has placed firm order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s.

Cabin Configuration of Project Sunrise Flights

For Project Sunrise flights, cabin comfort will be a must, as these flights will clock in over the 19-hour mark, making them the world's longest non-stop flights. Qantas has announced that its Airbus A350s will have four cabin classes. Economy, Economy Plus, Business Class and First Class. The aircraft will be equipped with 238 seats, which is the least number of seats ever to be configured in an aircraft of this size. 

Qantas has stated these aircraft will have exceptional onboard comfort and their cabin configurations will be unprecedented as they will be flying for a record breaking 19+ hours. From what Qantas has revealed about its Project Sunrise Cabin configuration so far, the first-class cabins appear to have private beds, recliner seats, and even closets. The cheapest economy class seats will have a 33-inch pitch, which is larger than the typical 30-31-inch pitch on most airlines.

Can I book Project Sunrise flights with Alternative Airlines?

Amongst the 600+ airlines we offer at our website, Qantas is also one of them and Project Sunrise flights will definitely be available at Alternative Airlines once the project starts operation. Stay tuned for further updates.

How much are tickets for the Project Sunrise Flights?

Qantas plans on  pricing its non-stop Project Sunrise flights at a premium over conventional routes. It is difficult to know what the exact price range for these flights would be, but it can be assumed that Project Sunrise flights will be priced 20 - 30 % above the flights flying the same route with stop-overs. The price premium makes perfect sense as these flights would be focusing on customers who want to fly directly and save time.

Alternative Airlines offers plenty of buy now, pay later options for you to spread the cost of your flights across a longer period of time. Take a look at all our finance options here.

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What will be the Project Sunrise routes?

The Project Sunrise will take off from Sydney on the Sydney-London and Sydney-New York routes, respectively. Paris, Frankfurt, Chicago, and Rio de Janeiro could be added as additional destinations for the new aircraft.