The European aircraft maker witnessed the demand for 50 to 100 orders in terms of longer-range version of the A350 model, able to fly from Sydney to London, without halt, Airbus chief salesman Eric Schulz said.
Airbus and rival Boeing were exchanging words with Qantas, the biggest carrier of Australia, for a plane that has the capacity to fly the Sydney-London route with no stop, company officials said. Called Project Sunrise, it would place Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, New York and Paris within direct contact of the eastern seaboard of Australia, Qantas said.
Also, Air New Zealand can consider a longer-range version of the A350, Schulz said.
“The heart of that long-range market will continue to be in Asia,” Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing for Boeing, mentioned discretely. The US plane maker was having words with Qantas in regards to the exact plane that could fly Sydney-London nonstop, Tinseth said.
One long-range market with exact potential was Asia-Latin America, he said.
A wave of ultralong flights that have the capacity to get you halfway around the world in one hop is encouraging aircraft manufacturers to come up with planes that can carry passengers for 20 hours nonstop. Qantas has initiated a Perth- London 17-hour service using a Boeing Dreamliner and Singapore Airlines is refreshing the Singapore-New York service, a 19-hour flight.
Qantas was “getting very confident” about such long-range flights, CEO Alan Joyce said. “The economics are working. Perth-London is making money from day one.”
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