Qantas Sydney to London Direct could be delayed due to aircraft manufacturer issues
The dream of flying Qantas Sydney London direct could be in jeopardy.
There are reports of delays in the manufacturing of 777X-8 aircraft that Qantas plans to use for the epic non-stop flight across the globe.
The delays were reported by Wall Street media overnight.
Problems for Boeing Manufacturing Chain
US jet manufacturer Boeing said on Thursday Australian time that there were delays in the production schedule of its 777X-8 aircraft Qantas plans to use for its ultra long haul flights between Australia and the US and Europe.
Boeing, the Washington based aircraft manufacturer, says it is dealing with major engineering issues with the new jet’s engines.
The commercial airline maker is also still dealing with major issues after two 737MAX short-haul aircraft suffered failure with loss of life in 2019. Boeing is attempting to fix issues and out the plane back in the sky.
Video: Boeing 777x in testing, Washington
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Airbus A350 back in Qantas sights
Qantas is in the penultimate stages of its “Project Sunrise” initiative. The Aussie carrier is working on an ambitious dream of non-stop flights from Australia’s east coast cities to major hubs globally.
Qantas currently operates nonstop from Perth to London, with the Boeing 787 “dreamliner” used on that popular flight route.
On its Project Sunrise website, Qantas says its working with both Airbus and Boeing.
Qantas states that it is continuing to work with both Boeing and Airbus on Project Sunrise.
“We have the best-and-final offers from both manufacturers, which is a key part of helping finalise our internal business case,” says the carrier.
“We still expect to make a decision by the end of this calendar year.”
This delay from Boeing could mean Airbus is in the pilot seat to secure Qantas business. Pun intended.
Video: The Airbus A350 in flight
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Airbus v Boeing
The US and Europe are rivals in many ways, none more so perhaps than the competition between the two major commercial aircraft manufacturers.
With the team at Boeing distracted by the supermax disaster, Airbus might be winning the affection of Alan Joyce and his team at Qantas in Sydney.
One of the longest flight in the world, from Singapore to Newark in the United States, is currently undertaken by Singapore Airlines.
The Singapore Airlines route direct to New York is operated using a Airbus A350-900ULR.
However, one report suggests Boeing is doing everything in its power to defend the Airbus advances.
The FlightGlobal website says “Boeing is keen to remain within the Project Sunrise competition and has put a “compelling option” to the Australian carrier intended to “help manage potential timing issues”.”
The Australian newspaper today resorts on the issues with Boeing.
They said Qantas was hoping to take deliveries of its first ultra-long haul aircraft in 2022 before the launch of flights such as Sydney-New York and Melbourne-London, in 2023.
Boeing is playing down the issue in the mainstream media.
Qantas told media a decision between Airbus and Boeing would be made by the end of 2019.
Perth London our of Perth Airport began in April 2018.
Cheapest economy flights are around the $2,000 mark for the 17-hour journey, return.
Depending on demand, the Sydney London or Sydney New York flights would be around the same or slightly more.
Ryan is Contributing Editor