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SYDNEYAustralian flag carrier Qantas is planning to revive Project Sunrise flights at the end of 2021. CEO Alan Joyce expects that non-stop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London, New York, and Paris will be even more appealing in the post-pandemic era.

Before the pandemic, the airline was working with Airbus on a special ultra-long-range version of the A350-1000 for 18-20 hours flights from Sydney and Melbourne. Qantas was even expected to place an initial order if the pandemic wouldn't force the airline to suspend the project. That will include taking on an initial fleet of up to 12 Airbus A350-1000s, which will be fitted with an extra fuel tank to tackle the globe-striding routes.

"But we're still very optimistic on that," Joyce said during an online interview with Reuters.

"People in the post-COVID world will want to fly direct" rather than make stopovers, "which I think makes the Project Sunrise business case even better than it was pre-COVID. At the end of 2021 we can revisit (Project Sunrise) and look at what's the appropriate time" to set things back in motion," Joyce remarked.

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