Qantas is expected to confirm plans on Monday to launch flights linking Australia’s east coast with London and New York non-stop with a blockbuster order for new jets to operate ultra-long-haul routes.
The airline has spent nearly five years working on so-called ‘Project Sunrise’, planning record-breaking 20-plus-hour flights from Sydney to London and Sydney to New York, and is set to confirm an order for up to a dozen Airbuses. A350-1000s at Sydney Airport on Monday morning.
Qantas intended to launch its Sunrise flights in early 2023, but the COVID-19 pandemic put the plan on hold.
An Airbus-owned A350 was en route from the aircraft manufacturer’s base in Toulouse, France, and was due to land in Perth just before 7 p.m. local time (9 p.m. Eastern Time), according to tracking site FlightRadar24 .
Industry sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Monday’s announcement would also include the finalization of Qantas’ domestic fleet replacement, which involves an order for up to 134 Airbus A320neos and A220 over the next decade.
The A220 is not currently used by any local airline. An A220 belonging to airBaltic – which does not usually fly to Australia – landed at Sydney Airport on Saturday evening, FlightRadar24 reports.
A Qantas spokesman declined to comment on Sunday. The airline sent a media alert to reporters on Friday noting an “important announcement” at Sydney Airport on Monday.
western australia first reported that Monday’s announcement would involve confirming the massive order with Airbus. Reuters also reported details of the order.