South Africa could get one of the world’s longest flights – but it might not be very comfortable

Flights halfway around the globe are set to be even less comfortable than expected – that’s if the marathon 20-hour non-stop services from Sydney to London get off the ground at all.

Bloomberg reports that Qantas has ditched the idea of rolling out bunks, beds, a gym or even a creche for passengers enduring the world’s longest commercial flight.

Instead, they’ll be given a space to have a stretch and a drink of water, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a presentation on Monday (3 June) in Seoul.

Joyce added that he still needs Qantas pilots to agree to the longer working hours the ultra-long flights will entail.

“There are a significant number of hurdles to overcome but we think we can make this work,” he said.

“There’s still not full payload on each aircraft, but there’s enough we think to make it commercially viable if the other parts of the business case get there.”

South Africa on the radar

Qantas expects to receive final aircraft proposals from Boeing and Airbus by August. That will include the price of the plane, as well as guarantees on fuel efficiency, maintenance costs and reliability.

Joyce said he’ll order the jets by the end of 2019 if he decides to push ahead with the flights – which are known at Qantas as Project Sunrise.

Should the plan go ahead, Joyce said that Qantas will push to establish the first routes by 2022, with direct connections from major cities in the Americas, Europe and Africa to Australia to follow.

The airline has previously indicated that this could include possible trips to Cape Town in South Africa.


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South Africa could get one of the world’s longest flights – but it might not be very comfortable