On Friday 18 October 2019, Qantas will operate its first Project Sunrise test flight from New York to Sydney.
The Australian airline will operate a one-off special delivery flight of a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from New York JFK to Sydney, Australia (instead of flying empty from Seattle to Sydney). The flight will only carry around 50 passengers and crew in order to give the new Boeing 787-9 the range required to operate from New York to Sydney. Carbon emissions from the flights will be fully offset.
The flight forms part of planning for Project Sunrise – Qantas’ goal to operate regular, non-stop commercial flights from the east coast of Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) to London and New York.
People in the cabin – mostly Qantas employees but also six Qantas Frequent Flyers – will be fitted with wearable technology devices and take part in specific experiences at varying stages of the approximately 19-and-a-half-hour flight. Scientists and medical experts from the Charles Perkins Centre will monitor sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting, physical movement and inflight entertainment to assess impact on health, wellbeing and body clock.
The Australian airline plans to operate two more Project Sunrise test flights, one in November and one in December.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the flights will give medical experts the chance to do real-time research that will translate into health and wellbeing benefits.
“Ultra-long haul flying presents a lot of common sense questions about the comfort and wellbeing of passengers and crew. These flights are going to provide invaluable data to help answer them.
“For customers, the key will be minimising jet lag and creating an environment where they are looking forward to a restful, enjoyable flight. For crew, it’s about using scientific research to determine the best opportunities to promote alertness when they are on duty and maximise rest during their down time on these flights.
“Flying non-stop from the East Coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right.
“No airline has done this kind of dedicated research before and we’ll be using the results to help shape the cabin design, inflight service and crew roster patterns for Project Sunrise. We’ll also be looking at how we can use it to improve our existing long-haul flights,” added Mr Joyce.
18 October 2019
Photo: copyright (c) Qantas