SYDNEY, AUSTRALIAAustralia's flag carrier Qantas announced the return of Project Sunrise, a plan to conduct non-stop flights between Sydney and New York and Sydney and London.

Qantas currently is carrying out direct flights to London from Western Australia, Darwin, a 17.5-hour flight, and previously flew between Perth and London before the border closures.

CEO Alan Joyce said Project Sunrise was back on the table, two years after the pandemic.

“Work has also resumed on Project Sunrise. Our latest customer research shows the demand for direct long-haul flights is even stronger than it was pre-Covid, so our focus on delivering non-stop services from Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London remains,” Joyce said.

Mr. Joyce also said it was a “pleasant surprise” that Aussies were so keen on longer flights.

“We can see it in practice in what we’re doing at the moment, but we’ve done a lot of research of our customers and we find that there was a step-change to the original business case and people’s desire to fly direct, to where it is now. We don’t think that’s a surprise but we’re probably pleasantly surprised at how much of a step change there was.”

Qantas is yet to choose the most efficient aircraft to operate Project Sunrise routes. The Australian CEO expects its airline to start the ultra-long-haul flights by 2025.