Qantas completes the test of the longest non-stop passenger aircraft

  Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce and crew after arriving at Sydney airport after completing a non-stop test flight from New York Copyright copyright


All smiles: Qantas crew celebrates after the 1[ads1]9 hour journey from New York to Sydney

The Australian carrier Qantas has conducted a test of the longest non-stop commercial passenger flight as part of research into how the voyage could affect pilots, crew and passengers.

Boeing 787-9 with 49 people on board took 19 hours and 16 minutes to fly from New York to Sydney, a route of 16,200 km (10,066 miles).

Next month, the company plans to test a nonstop flight from London to Sydney.

Qantas expect to decide whether to start routes by the end of 2019.

If they continue to do so, services will begin operating in 2022 or 2023.

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No commercial aircraft have yet the reach to fly such an ultra-long route with full passenger and cargo, reports the Reuters news agency.

To give the aircraft sufficient fuel range to avoid refueling, the Qantas aircraft took off with maximum fuel, limited cargo load and no load.

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Boeing 787-9 arrives at Sydney International Airport

Passengers set their watches to Sydney time after boarding and were kept awake until night fell in Eastern Australia to reduce jet lag.

Six hours later they were served a high carbohydrate meal and the lights were dimmed to encourage them to sleep.

On-board tests included monitoring brain waves, melatonin levels and alertness, as well as training classes for passengers and analyzing the impact of crossing so many time zones on people's bodies.

"This is a really important first for aviation. Hopefully, it is a preview of a regular service that will speed up how people travel from one side of the globe to the other," said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

Competition in the ultra-long aviation market has intensified in recent years, with various airlines flying with expanded routes.

Singapore Airlines launched an almost 19-hour journey from Singapore to New York last year, which is currently the world's longest regular airline flight.

Also last year, Qantas began a 17-hour non-stop service from Perth to London, while Qatar Airways operates a 17.5-hour service between Auckland and Doha.

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