Qantas has rejected proposals from Airbus and Boeing to
build a plane that would fly passengers from Sydney to New York and London.
Qantas told the aircraft manufacturers that they need to
lower their price for the proposed routes to work.
The rejections were reported Tuesday by Australian media,
including the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Aviation. Qantas offered no
further details but confirmed the accuracy of the reports.
The Australian airline has been studying the viability of
launching flights from New York and London to Sydney by 2023. The endeavor is called Project Sunrise.
No commercial airline has flown scheduled passenger service
between London or New York and Australia’s east coast. At 11,185 miles,
London-Sydney is widely considered the ultimate challenge in long-haul air travel.
Boeing and Airbus submitted proposals to Qantas in August.
Boeing proposed putting a 777-8X on the routes while Airbus offered up the
A350-1000ULR. The key for Qantas is to secure a plane that not only can handle
the distance but carry enough passengers to make the routes work economically.
Qantas told Airbus and Boeing that their offers were too expensive.
Qantas has said it plans to make a decision on whether to go
forward with the London/New York-Sydney project by the end of this year.
This fall, the carrier is conducting research flights on the
routes, one from London to Sydney and two between New York and Sydney. The
flights are being operated on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, but with loads of only
approximately 50 hand-selected passengers.
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