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Extreme measures Qantas is taking with 19-hour, non-stop flights from New York and London to Sydney

Revealed: The extreme measures Qantas is taking to ensure its record-breaking non-stop flights to New York and London don’t harm passengers’ health

  • Qantas is experimenting with direct, non-stop flights from New York to Sydney
  • It’s also trying out a 19-hour air voyage from London to Australia’s biggest city
  • Pilots will be wearing electroencephalogram to track their brain activity levels
  • Airline cabin crew will don devices to monitor their alertness and fatigue levels

Qantas is taking extreme measures to ensure its attempts at making record-breaking, non-stop flights from New York and London to Sydney don’t harm the health of passengers.

Australia’s national carrier, which turns 100 next year, is embarking on three, 19-hour flight experiments later this year.

If they are successful, Qantas could soon be offering direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the world’s most famous English-speaking cities.

  

Qantas is taking extreme measures to ensure its attempts at making record-breaking, non-stop flights from New York and London (Big Ben pictured) to Sydney don’t harm the health of passengers

In October, November and December, the airline will be flying a maximum of 40 people, including crew, on board brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Qantas cabin crew taking part in the experiment will be fitted with wearable technology devices to monitor their alertness and fatigue levels.

Scientists and medical experts from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre will record the effects of extreme, long-haul flying on sleep, hunger and thirst levels, and physical movement.

As part of the experiment, dubbed Project Sunrise, the pilots will also wear an electroencephalogram that tracks brain activity and alertness.

Monash University experts will monitor their levels of the sleep hormone melatonin before, during and after the flights. 

‘The aim is to establish data to assist in building the optimum work and rest pattern for pilots operating long haul services,’ Qantas said.

As part of the experiment, dubbed Project Sunrise, the pilots will also wear an electroencephalogram that tracks brave activity and alertness (pictured is pilot Lisa Norman with Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce). Monash University experts will monitor their levels of the sleep hormone melatonin before, during and after the flights

As part of the experiment, dubbed Project Sunrise, the pilots will also wear an electroencephalogram that tracks brave activity and alertness (pictured is pilot Lisa Norman with Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce). Monash University experts will monitor their levels of the sleep hormone melatonin before, during and after the flights

Should the experiments prove successful, travellers could fly uninterrupted in 19 hours to some of the world’s most popular cities and be spared from having to change flights or disembark while jets were refuelled. 

No commercial airline has ever flown direct from New York to Australia.

Qantas has only once flown direct from London to Sydney but that was an experimental flight in 1989 with just 23 on board in a cabin that was stripped of heavy fittings to reduce fuel consumption.

The 19-hour London to Sydney experiment would mark the first direct flight between those cities in three decades.

The airline also wants Australian aviation laws changed to allow flights of 20 hours or more to land and take off.

Qantas cabin crew taking part in the experiment will be fitted with wearable technology devices to monitor their alertness and fatigue levels. Scientists and medical experts from the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre will record the effects of a long-haul flight on sleep, hunger and thirst levels, and physical movement

Qantas cabin crew taking part in the experiment will be fitted with wearable technology devices to monitor their alertness and fatigue levels. Scientists and medical experts from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre will record the effects of a long-haul flight on sleep, hunger and thirst levels, and physical movement

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the flights in themselves were ground breaking and hoped to make a decision on trailblazing, long-haul flights to New York and London by the end of 2019.

‘No commercial airline has done these kind of experiments before,’ he said.

‘Flying non-stop from the east coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right.’   

Qantas made the announcement on Thursday as it also revealed its net profit after tax for the 2018-19 financial year had fallen by 6.5 per cent to $891million.

Delivering the full-year results, Mr Joyce said higher crude oil prices had added $600million to the airline’s fuel bill, as a weaker Australian dollar caused revenue to fall by $150million. 

The exchange rate earlier this month fell below 67 US cents for the first time since March 2009, a situation which makes overseas holidays and jet fuel more expensive. 

No commercial airline has ever flown direct from New York to Australia, and Qantas is planning two such 19-hour voyages this year

No commercial airline has ever flown direct from New York to Australia, and Qantas is planning two such 19-hour voyages this year

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk