Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, has said that Project Sunrise will be put on hold, citing the impact from coronavirus.
At a recent media briefing, Mr. Joyce said that in light of the pandemic, “the time is not right now“ according to FlightGlobal.
When prompted on Qantas’ order for up to 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, Mr. Joyce said that no final orders will be placed yet.
“We certainly won’t be ordering aircraft for that this year and we will keep a review on when is the appropriate time, when is the market recovered, when is Qantas in a position to commit to more aircraft and more capital.”Alan Joyce, CEO, Qantas. Source: FlightGlobal
Project Sunrise is Qantas’ plan to connect the East Coast of Australia (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane) with New York and London.
These routes are often considered the final frontier for commercial aviation.
Due to commence operations sometime between 2022 and 2023, it is unclear as to the length of delay this postponement will cause.
Project Sunrise has already faced a piloting issue, with the airline earlier indicating that a new arm of employment could be created or individual contracts drafted with pilots.
That decision came after the airlines leadership struggled to reach an agreement with the union representing Qantas pilots.
Mr. Joyce remains confident that a business case for Project Sunrise flights still remains.
Project Sunrise flights will be operated by a fleet of Airbus A350-100 aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
Last year, Sam Chui flew on the Qantas Research Flight, onboard a B787 Dreamliner, from London to Sydney; aiming to study the effects on the human body from flights of up to 20 hours.
Article Source: FlightGlobal. Feature Image: Qantas.