Qantas boss Alan Joyce has said a 20-hour non-stop London-Sydney service could be airborne by 2022.
The airline earlier this year completed the first non-stop scheduled flight between the UK and Australia.
Qantas Flight QF9 touched down in London on March 26 after its 9,009-mile journey from Perth.
That 17-hour flight though to south-west Australia looks set to be eclipsed by a 20-hour non-stop journey to Sydney on Australia’s south-east coast.
The barrier to such a long transit has always been the ability to simply keep an aircraft in the air for an extended period of time.
Speaking to Bloomberg though, Joyce said the airline was “comfortable” it had the vehicle to do it.
Codenamed Project Sunrise, Qantas has previously challenged Boeing and Airbus to create aircraft capable of such long distances.
The London-Perth service is currently operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft but Joyce said the 20-hour flight would require an aircraft configured to fly around 300 passengers and their luggage with enough fuel in hand for headwinds and emergencies.
Airbus’s A350 and Boeing’s 777X are options, Joyce added.
The world’s longest route is currently Qatar Airways’ daily Doha-Auckland service, 23 miles further than Qantas’ London-Perth route.
However, Singapore Airlines is planning to introduce a direct Singapore-New York service, which would best this by more than 500 miles.