Qantas to give green light to Project Sunrise

Qantas chooses A350 for Project Sunrise flights

Source: OAG Mapper. We reveal the top unserved ultra long haul routes from Australia. Qantas is set to use the A350-1000 for Project Sunrise, and potentially create a new pilot contract to bypass union issues. The existing Perth – London route could sustain a larger aircraft (than the current 787-9) or a second daily flight according to our recent analysis.

Qantas will be going ahead with Project Sunrise, according to Australian media reports following a memo to Qantas International staff. This comes as the hard deadline for an A350-1000 order approaches at the end of March, and Qantas considers creating a new pilot contract if current union negotiations fail.

Aside from the expected Sydney/Melbourne to London, New York, Paris and Frankfurt routes, the direct route opportunities are vast by pure connecting traffic volumes. 

Qantas chooses A350 for Project Sunrise flights

Source: OAG Traffic Analyser

Brisbane is a large Australia – Europe/US market, with trade links and tourism to the Gold Coast attracting strong connecting passenger flows. This week, Qantas added San Francisco from the airport, and it is certainly possible A350-1000s may also come to Brisbane Airport to up-gauge thicker ultra-long haul 787-9 routes. Ultimately, any ultra long haul route must command a sufficient fare premium, in order for yields to be high enough to make a profit.

See our full recent analysis on Project Sunrise here.


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