Qantas is planning to operate the world’s longest flight in custom-built planes by 2022

The promise of long-haul flights is getting real.
The promise of long-haul flights is getting real.
Image: AP Photo/John Donegan
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Qantas Airways, the flag carrier of Australia, is looking to launch what would be the world’s longest flight by 2022. The proposed Sydney-to-London route would take 20 hours and 22 minutes.

The airline has a business plan, but no plane to fly it. Qantas has requested proposals from Boeing and Airbus for airplanes and configurations that could operate the trip. The plane makers would likely need to shave weight to provide a solution. That means fewer passengers and less cargo, but more legroom and possibly even lounges or gyms on board.

The route would shorten the flight time between Sydney and London by 3 hours and 45 minutes before as well, of course, any layovers and time needed to make connections. Whichever plane is selected, it will also be capable to fly a direct route between Sydney and New York, saving 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The world’s longest flight is currently Singapore Airlines’ 9,537 mile route between Newark, New Jersey and Singapore. After being put on hiatus while fuel prices were high, the route was reinstated in 2018. The second-longest is Qatar’s 9,032-mile route between Doha and Auckland.