AviationNews.online has seen a copy of memo sent to Qantas International staff stating that Project Sunrise will be announced as going ahead, probably some time in the next two weeks.
Qantas must have known the information would leak and several Australian and UK media outlets have also started reporting it.
This is one of the biggest land marks (or should I say waypoints?) in recent aviation history.
Have no doubt that this type of ultra long haul flight is just the beginning of a trend, and Airbus should be very happy they’ve been able to create the ideal aircraft to carry it off.
What will now be interesting is how many A350-1000ULR’s the airline will order and how many routes will it try to cover?
London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome and Beirut (Australia has a substantial Lebanese diaspora), are all possibilities, never mind the preference for JFK.
The next thing will be how will airlines like Virgin Atlantic -desperate to go back to Sydney – Lufthansa, AirFrance-KLM, British Airways, react to viable routes to the continent that all but BA abandoned years ago?
How will Emirates, Qatar and Etihad respond as the inevitable growth in the market threatens their connections business from major hubs, even if not so much from regional airports?
Qantas will pioneer something new – its going to be an interesting few years from 2023 onward! And can Boeing sit back and let Airbus steal yet another niche but lucrative business opportunity while it wallows in its own malfeasance?