Connect with us

Latest News.

Qantas flight lands after non-stop journey from London to Sydney

Qantas preparing flights, New Zealand opens skies for Australia
  • Project Sunrise research flight direct from London to Sydney lands after 19 hours and 19 minutes
  • Qantas announces Centenary program to celebrate 100 years of the flying kangaroo
  • Royal Australian Mint unveils commemorative $1 centenary coin
  • Qantas exhibition to visit a number of cities across Australia

Qantas has kicked off 12 months of centenary celebrations as it marks a fresh milestone in aviation with a non-stop London to Sydney flight.

Flown by the latest addition to the national carrier’s fleet, a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed in Sydney at  12:28pm, 19 hours and 19 minutesafter leaving Heathrow. It follows the non-stop New York to Sydney flight last month as the second of three research flights aim at improving crew and passenger wellbeing on ultra long haul services under consideration.

The direct flight reduced total travel time by around three hours compared with current one-stop services from the east coast of Australia. It is only the second time any commercial airline has flown this route non-stop, after Qantas flew a near-empty 747-400 in 1989. (See more detail on research flight at end of this release.)

The new Dreamliner was met by more than 1,000 Qantas employees to mark the flying kangaroo’s 99th birthday and kick off 12 months of celebrations as it heads towards its centenary.

Three components of those celebrations were revealed today – special livery on a new Dreamliner that will be seen at airports around the world, featuring every Qantas logo since 1920; a $1 coin to mark the 100th that will enter circulation next year; and a touring exhibition that will visit a number of cities around Australia.

Qantas Chairman Richard Goyder said: “Qantas is a national icon because it’s been such a big part of Australian life for so long.

“We started in outback Queensland carrying mail and a few passengers in the 1920s. We grew as Australia grew, and we’ve had important support roles during wars, national disasters and celebrations. Our founders talked about overcoming the tyranny of distance and through the years we’ve moved from bi-planes, to single wing, to jets to help bring things closer,” added Mr Goyder.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “Almost a century after our first flight, Qantas and Jetstar carry more than 50 million people around this country and the globe each year. I’m sure that would amaze our three founders, who held the early board meetings of this company at the local tailor’s shop because it was the longest table they could find.”

Advertisement

“A lot of Australians saw the world for the first time on a flying kangaroo. And a lot of migrants started their life in Australia when they first stepped on a Qantas plane.
“There are so many amazing Qantas stories that also tell the story of modern Australia. We want our centenary to be a celebration of those stories as well as how we’ll be part of taking the spirit of Australia further in the years ahead,” added Mr Joyce.

Qantas will officially turn 99 years old, and begin its 100th year, tomorrow, Saturday 16 November 2019.

ABOUT THE CENTENARY AIRCRAFT

The new 787 Centenary livery aircraft will fly across key Qantas international destinations, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and London. Named Longreach after the Queensland town that was key to the airline’s origins, it joins nine other Qantas 787s that are all named after things that are iconically Australian, including Skippy, Great Southern Land, Waltzing Matilda and Jillaroo.

Advertisement

ABOUT THE $1 CIRCULATING COIN

The Royal Australian Mint will produce approximately 5 million limited edition one-dollar coins to be used in Australia for every day cash transactions, which will go into general circulation from February 2020.

For collectors, there is an eleven-piece collection set featuring key milestones and images of aircraft from across the decades including the Avro, Catalina Flying Boat, Boeing 707 and 747 and the A380. The centrepiece is a Kangaroo copper coin similar to the original Australian penny, which inspired Qantas’ iconic Kangaroo symbol. Sets are available at www.qantasstore.com.au.

ABOUT THE DIRECT LONDON-SYDNEY FLIGHT

Advertisement
  • QF 7879 flight London to Sydney flight time was 19 hours and 19 minutes. Touch down at Sydney International airport was 12:28pm
  • The flight was operated by a brand-new Boeing 787-9 registration VH ZNJ, named Longreach.
  • The service was a re-purposed delivery flight. Rather than flying from Boeing’s factory in Seattle back to Australia empty, the aircraft was positioned in London to simulate one of the Project Sunrise routes under consideration by Qantas. All carbon emissions were offset.
  • The flight departed London’s Heathrow Airport and flew across 11 countries including England, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Philippines and Indonesia before crossing the Australian coast near Darwin, tracking south east across Australia towards Sydney.
  • Remaining fuel upon landing was approximately 6300kg which translates to about 1 hour 45 minutes of flight time
Advertisement

Airlines

United Airlines Boeing 737-800 Flight Review: Domestic Economy Done Right

United Airlines Boeing 737-800 Flight Review: Domestic Economy Done Right

Welcome to another flight review, where we would be flying on United Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft on a 4 hour transcontinental flight from Las Vegas to Washington!

Las Vegas consists of 2 main terminals for commercial airlines, Terminal 3 and Terminal 1. Both Terminals serve different airlines, with Terminal 1 more focused on Low Cost Carriers, while Terminal 3 serving the main carriers such as Delta, American, United Airlines, together with international operators. 

We are currently in Terminal 3, which has a wide offering of food and drinks. Furthermore, since we are in Las Vegas, there definitely are some slot machines around the terminal for those who are hoping to make a quick buck before their flight. There was also supposed to be a gaming lounge, but it was closed due to renovation. 

Upon reaching the gate, we were informed of an approximately 30 minute delay to our departure time, due to the aircraft leaving its previous leg late. 

Here is our aircraft, ship 3506, a 17 year old Boeing 737 which would be ferrying us to Washington. Here she is, decked in the old United Airlines colour scheme, The boarding process soon began, with passengers being called to called based on their boarding group, so as to ensure an orderly boarding process. 

We were warmly welcomed aboard by the cabin crew, where sanitising wipes were available upon request. For this flight, I selected 28F, a Window seat. The Economy Class layout in United’s Boeing 737-800 is in a 3-3 configuration, while Business Class is in a 2-2 layout.

This particular aircraft is still fitted with the old cabin of United Airlines, with no in-seat power outlet, small Inflight Entertainment Screens, together with a dated cabin.

United is currently updating their Boeing 737 fleet to have a wider Inflight Entertainment Screen, which includes a USB power port for you to charge your devices. It will definitely be a welcome change on the longer transcontinental flights especially. 

The seats are sufficiently wide, with a rather sufficient legroom offered on the aircraft. Although not generous, I was still able to stretch my legs, so definitely no complaints. The seat has two pockets, one right below the screen, with the other at knee level, which allows you to store your personal electronic devices safely. There are also adjustable headrests, which is always an amazing feature on a seat. 

Soon, we were greeted by the Captain, who warmly welcomed us onboard, before apologising for the slight delay, informing us that he would attempt to get us airborne as soon as possible. 

Advertisement

Inflight Service 

After approximately 30 minutes after takeoff, the flight crew prepared the cabin for snack service. Starting at the front of the cabin, they slowly made their way to the back. 

This is where I feel United really shines, especially for flights on the North American Continent. There are small snacks such as pretzels, chocolate and chips, together with non alcoholic beverages which are provided complimentary to the passengers. There is a wide range of beverages being provided, from Water, Orange Juice to even Ginger Ale. Everyone was given 1 choice of beverage and snack for this service.

Headphones were also handed out on demand, which was definitely what set United apart from other airlines in their Domestic Economy class. In fact, some airlines do not issue headphones for free on International Economy class on the North American continent flights. 

After approximately an hour, the flight crews were walking about, offering passengers a coffee or tea, or any other beverage. Passengers could also request for other drinks of their choice, together with snacks, though some snacks are chargeable. 

Advertisement

Passengers could request for drinks or snacks throughout the entire flight, with the crew occasionally making rounds offering water to passengers. 

United Airlines has the option of allowing their passengers to add their credit cards online, before boarding the flights, so as to ensure a contactless transaction. The cost of items ordered would be billed to that particular card, therefore negating the need for passengers to go through the hassle of finding their credit cards onboard. Cash payments are also not accepted onboard the flight, therefore requiring a card for in flight purchases. 

There is wifi provided onboard, with free internet access to messaging applications. The internet was rather fast, and offered great connectivity onboard, enabling you to stay in contact with your loved ones even in the air.

Free wifi for streaming and internet surfing is provided to T-Mobile customers, and other passengers could also purchase wifi for the entire flight for the same purpose. The wifi could also be used to stream movies to your own device, with a large range of movies and TV shows which could be watched online.

The selection of movies are definitely more than sufficient to keep everyone occupied for the duration of the entire flight. 

Soon, we landed at Washington Dulles International Airport, just slightly behind schedule. We deplaned via an airbridge to a remote concourse, where we were ferried to the main terminal via a mobile lounge, which in my opinion is quite a unique system. 

Delay Management done right

Advertisement

One thing which really impressed me thoroughly was United’s management of delays. Knowing that the aircraft would be approximately 10 minutes late, the flight crews identified those passengers who have connecting flights through lighting the crew call button, therefore providing a visible identification.

Upon landing, passengers were advised to remain seated and let these passengers deplane first, so they could make up for the lost time. United Airlines were also transparent with the information and steps taken to mitigate delays to the travellers’ travel plans through keeping everyone in the aircraft updated with the status of the aircraft arrival. 

Final Thoughts

United’s Cabin Service exceeded my expectations, especially with the offering of earphones to all passengers in Economy, ensuring that passengers were able to enjoy the wide selection of inflight entertainment offered. This is in stark contrast to certain North American Carriers, where they follow a bring your own headphones concept, resulting in some passengers being unable to enjoy the inflight entertainment. Furthermore, the attentiveness of the crew certainly played a part in ensuring an amazing flight, ensuring that the passengers were comfortable and well hydrated. 

Continue Reading

Trending