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Published on Thursday, November 14, 2019

Qantas tests London to Sydney non-stop






Qantas took off on its first non-stop flight from London to Sydney this morning in a trip that is expected to take 19.5 hours.

If successful, non-stop commercial flights could launch by 2023.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said: "Our Perth to London flight was a huge leap forward and it's been incredibly popular.

"The final frontier is New York and London to the east coast of Australia non-stop and we are hopeful of conquering that by 2023 if we can make all elements of the business case stack up."

Around 50 passengers and crew were on this morning's test flight, which will cover 17,800 kms.

Researchers from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre as well as the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity (Alertness CRC) also travelled on board, collecting passenger and crew data.

Joyce added: "We know that travellers want room to move on these direct services, and the exercises we encouraged on the first research flight seemed to work really well. So, we're definitely looking to incorporate on-board stretching zones and even some simple modifications like overhead handles to encourage low impact exercises."

Professor Corinne Caillaud from the Charles Perkins Centre added: "We are hopeful that the interventions and strategies we tried on the first research flight helped passengers better manage the challenges of crossing multiple time zones. From a research point of view, it was something quite novel.

"We're looking forward to this second flight, which will involve passengers eating supper at breakfast time, with the aim of encouraging them to sleep at 10am in the morning London time to help avoid light and reset their body clock to Sydney time."

The flight left London at 6am.

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