Qantas will run 19-hour test aircraft to see impact on people's health

The first commercial flight for Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft December 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.

James D. Morgan | Getty Images

If you are nervous about flying, this one may not be for you. Qantas said on Thursday it will run "research" flights from London and New York to Sydney – a 19-hour route – to see how it affects passenger health.

The Australian airline said the three test flights would hold a maximum of 40 people. It includes crew members and a research team on board that will look at things like sleep patterns and food consumption "to assess the impact on health, wellness and body clock."

Qantas said that passengers ̵[ads1]1; who largely consist of their own personnel – will be equipped with portable devices to run tests throughout the flights. The company says it has already conducted experimental flights along its direct Perth to London service.

Boeing's 787-9 aircraft will be used for the tests, and Qantas said both Boeing and European competitor Airbus are throwing jets for long-haul routes. A final decision on whether to fly the aircraft will be made by the end of the year, Qantas said.

To be clear, none of the people in the cabin want to pay customers, Qantas said. The purpose of the move is to see how such long journeys would work if it began to sell them to customers.

– It's actually the first time a commercial airline has flown from New York to Sydney without a stopover, and only the second time a flight from London to Sydney has taken place, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told CNBC's "Capital Connection" on Thursday .

"It allows us to test fatigue risk management, the impact on customers and employees and allows us to help develop the case for these operations," he added.

The company hopes to have New York-Sydney and London-Sydney direct routes up and running by 2022.

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