Passengers looking to snag a seat on Qantas’ ultra-long-haul ‘Project Sunrise’ flights should prepare for high airfares, according to the airline’s incoming CEO Vanessa Hudson.
Speaking at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) AGM this week, Hudson said the direct flights from Australia’s east coast to New York and London will incur a 20 per cent premium.
The Project Sunrise flights are expected to launch with Sydney-London in 2025 and will be fully operational by 2030.
Hudson spoke to a media roundtable at IATA’s AGM, where she said the airline expected the flights to deliver the same 20 per cent premium as seen on the Perth-London service.
“We think it’s very reasonable to say, given the markets in Melbourne and Sydney are bigger premium markets, that we would get what we’re getting today on Perth to London,” Hudson said.
This echoes Qantas’ previous prediction that Project Sunrise will bring in an extra $400 million profit to the airline’s international arm. Qantas’ current CEO, Alan Joyce, said the Sunrise routes are geared toward high-end travellers who are willing to pay for a direct flight, according the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The big market for us has historically been the UK, to Europe and North America … We think the London route is a growth opportunity where there’s a lot of first-class and premium travellers willing to pay the premium for this aircraft,” Joyce said.
The 12 A380s that Qantas will use to service the route will have more premium seats that the fleet of Boeing 787’s that currently service the international market.
The airline expects the costs associated with running the service will be lower than the current international services as it won’t have to incur airport fees or other costs from stopping mid-flight.
Qantas intends to offset 100 per cent of the carbon emissions of the Project Sunrise route from the beginning of its operations.
Find out more about the cabins onboard Project Sunrise below.
Featured Image: Rendering of Qantas’ Project Sunrise (Qantas)