Canberra, Aug 25 (IANS) Australian flag carrier Qantas on Friday issued a challenge to the world’s largest plane makers, Boeing and Airbus, to build a jet that can fly from Sydney to London or New York without stopping, the media reported.
The Australian airline wants a Boeing 777X or an Airbus A350 that can undertake the epic routes from the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane by 2022, reports CNN.
“This is a last frontier in global aviation,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said on Friday as the company delivered its second highest profit in their 97-year history.
“This would be one of the most strategically important aircraft orders in the history of Qantas.”
If Boeing or Airbus approve the challenge, a non-stop flight between Sydney and London would clock in at 20 hours and 20 minutes and Sydney to New York would be 18 hours and seven minutes, according to Qantas.
It is about three to four hours less than the total time for the current journeys, which require a stop in Asia or the Middle East for refuelling.
The airline has been flying from Sydney to London and New York since 1947 and 1958, respectively, and has steadily reduced the number of required stops along the way.
In 1989, it flew a Boeing 747-400 between London and Sydney non-stop, but there were only 23 people aboard, including five pilots and two flight attendants.
Earlier on Friday, the airline revealed that its pre-tax profit came in at $1.11 billion for the year to the end of June, reports the BBC.
The airline’s highest profit so far was delivered the previous year.
Although down nearly 9 per cent from that record, CEO Joyce said the company’s turnaround was complete.
The strong result was due to cost cuts and its robust domestic business which helped offset global competition, according to Qantas.
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