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Qantas Launches New Long-Haul Flights in Bet on International Travel Rebound
International travel is making a comeback, and airlines are betting on it. Qantas recently launched new service between New York and Sydney with a stop in Auckland. The airline is focusing on even longer routes with nonstop flights from Sydney to New York and London. Flights could extend up to 20 hours, enough time to binge-watch the Star Wars Skywalker Saga.
Qantas has been working with sleep scientists for eight years in hopes of finding ways to limit the impacts of jet lag on super-long flights. They have studied passenger moods, sleep patterns and food intake, and tested delaying meal services and keeping passengers awake longer with cabin lights. Qantas estimates that nonstop flights could reduce travel time by more than three hours compared to flights with stops in other airports.
Qantas' New Cabin Features
The new nonstop flights will operate on ultra-long-range Airbus A350-1000 planes that seat 238 passengers. The planes are outfitted with six enclosed, first-class suites that include a table for two, a reclining chair, a 32-inch touch-screen television, and a 2-meter flatbed. They will also have 52 business-class suites with lie-flat beds, 40 premium economy seats, and 140 economy-class seats. Qantas calls the dedicated exercise and stretching area onboard the "Wellbeing Zone," which also offers on-screen exercise guides, handles for stretching, and refreshments. Wi-Fi will be complimentary.
While ultra-long-haul flights are technically possible thanks to more efficient engines and aircraft, they still face challenges. For instance, Singapore Airlines launched a nonstop flight from Newark to Singapore with about 18-hour flight time. However, the airline discontinued the flight in 2013 as the carrier got rid of fuel-guzzling four-engine aircraft.
Here is a look at the world's longest flights by distance, according to data from airline data firm OAG:
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is optimistic about future travel demand, and the airline expects to fully recover next March, according to Joyce. Qantas is betting that its new nonstop flights to London and New York will attract passengers seeking convenience and comfort over the long travel time.
The travel industry is rebounding, and Qantas is betting on it with new long-haul flights from Sydney to New York and London. Not only will Qantas reduce travel time by over three hours, they are also prioritizing passengers' well-being with a "Wellbeing Zone" and sleep studies. Offering long-haul flights to desirable destinations can attract travelers seeking convenience and comfort, which is a win for airlines. As travel demand recovers, businesses in the travel industry, such as hotels, restaurants, and tour operators, have the opportunity to capitalize on this trend as well. By staying up to date with travel trends and creating flexible cancellation policies, businesses can attract customers and build brand loyalty. Conversely, companies that do not adapt may risk losing customers to their competitors. The future of travel is bright, and businesses must take advantage of this trend to thrive in the post-pandemic era.