After five years of planning, the airline has announced that it is ordering 12 Airbus A350-1000s to operate “Project Sunrise” flights to cities including London and New York.
Nonstop flights will begin from Sydney by the end of 2025, it said, with long-haul trips planned later to include Melbourne.
“New types of aircraft make new things possible,” Qantas chairman Alan Joyce said in a statement.
“The A350 and Project Sunrise will make any city a single flight from Australia,” he said.
“This is the final frontier and the final solution to the tyranny of distance.”
Qantas carried out research flights for the long-haul route in 2019, including a 17,800 kilometer (11,030 mile) London-Sydney test trek, which lasted 19 hours and 19 minutes.
A New York-Sydney test flight the same year flew 16,200 kilometers (10,200 miles) and lasted just over 19 hours.
Singapore Airlines currently operates the world’s longest non-stop commercial flight between Singapore and New York, covering 16,700 kilometers (10,400 miles) in just under 19 hours.
Qantas already operates a 14,498 kilometer Perth-London route which takes 17 hours.
– ‘Maximum comfort’ – “As you’d expect, the cabin is specially designed for maximum comfort for long-haul flights,” Joyce said.
Qantas said the new A350 aircraft would be configured for 238 passengers with first-class suites offering a separate bed, recliner and wardrobe.
It promised more spacious economy sections and a “wellness zone” designed to “move, stretch and hydrate”.
Airbus listed the price of the A350-1000 at $366.5 million (348 million euros) in its 2018 catalog, the last it published.
Qantas has announced that it is also ordering 40 A321 XLR and A220 aircraft from Airbus.
Additionally, it has purchased options for another 94 of these aircraft through the end of 2034.
A220 models were listed at US$81-91.5 million in 2018. The A321 was unveiled after Airbus stopped publishing list prices.
Qantas said the full cost of the deal was a matter of commercial confidence, although it said it had secured a significant discount from the standard price of the plane.
“The A320s and A220s will become the backbone of our national fleet for the next 20 years, helping to drive this country forward,” said Joyce.
The new plane would cut emissions by at least 15% if it ran on fossil fuels, and more if it used sustainable aviation fuel, he said.
“We have come through the other side of the pandemic with a structurally different business,” the airline boss said.
“Our domestic market share is higher and the demand for direct international flights is even stronger than it was pre-Covid.”
The A350-1000 planes will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 turbofans, designed to be 25% more fuel efficient than the previous generation of planes, Qantas said.