Qantas Dreamliner

Qantas lands record New York-Sydney flight

Qantas has completed a non-stop test flight from New York to Sydney, researching how the world’s longest potential commercial plane journey of nearly 20 hours would impact pilots, crew and passengers.

Carrying 50 passengers and crew on board, Qantas Flight 7879 on a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner touched down in Sydney on Sunday morning after a 16,200-kilometre journey which lasted 19 hours 16 minutes.

“This is a really historic moment for Qantas, a really historic moment for Australian aviation and a really historic moment for world aviation,” Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce, who took the flight, said after landing.

With demand for air travel rapidly growing and aircraft performance improving, carriers are increasingly looking into ultra-long-haul travel. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects the worldwide number of annual passengers to grow from 4.6 billion this year to 8.2 billion by 2037.

No commercial aircraft as of yet has the range to fly such an ultra-long haul with a full passenger and cargo load. To give the plane the needed range, the Qantas flight took off with maximum fuel, only a few passengers, restricted baggage load and no cargo.

The goal was to gather data, with a team of researchers to monitor, among other things, lighting, activity, sleep and consumption patterns of passengers, and crew melatonin levels. They also tracked the brain wave patterns of pilots, equipped for the flight with brain monitoring devices.

The aim of the research was, Qantas said in a statement, to increase health and wellness, minimise jet lag and identify optimum crew rest and work periods.

“The flight was very successful from two components – the first one was research,” Qantas Captain Sean Golding said.

“And also the feat of distance – that flight last night was 16,200 kilometres. We were airborne for 19 hours and 16 minutes, and we landed here in Sydney with a comfortable 70 minutes of fuel.”

The airline also plans to test a non-stop flight from London to Sydney and expects to make a decision by the end of the year whether to start the routes, which would commence in 2022 or 2023.

© DPA 2019

Auckland New Zealand

More flights announced between Gold Coast and New Zealand

The bridge across the ditch is set to strengthen, with the announcement of more flights between the Gold Coast and New Zealand.

Around 100 additional flights will be added to Air New Zealand’s schedule from March next year, with services between Gold Coast and Auckland increased to daily.

There will also be up to nine services in total per week during peak school holiday periods in April, July and October.

It’s the second time Air New Zealand has increased services between the coast and New Zealand this year – the last announcement was made in February.

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills it shows a huge vote of confidence in the city.

“Moving to a daily service, and more during peak times, shows the connection between New Zealand and the Gold Coast region is only growing stronger.

“New Zealand continues to be the number one international market for Gold Coast Airport, so it is great to see Air New Zealand responding to the demand,” Mr Mills said.

The flights could bring around 10,000 extra tourists our way per year, along with millions of dollars for the Gold Coast economy.

New Zealand is the number one international market for Gold Coast Airport, with more than 550,000 people travelling between the Gold Coast and New Zealand over the past year.

Destination Gold Coast CEO Annaliese Battista hopes the extra flights will support peak travel periods for Kiwis keen to reconnect with Australia’s favourite playground.

“Increased services will see fares remain competitive and affordable, which remain central to safeguarding Gold Coast as a top of mind holiday destination for our Tasman neighbours.

“Kiwis just can’t get enough of our pristine beaches, warm weather, theme parks, family-centric experiences and natural attractions,” Ms Battista said.

Qantas’ new look for Dreamliner ahead of major milestone

Qantas has unveiled a sleek new look for its latest 787 Dreamliner as the airline prepares for its 100th year in service.

The aircraft, Qantas’ 10th Dreamliner, has been given a special anniversary paint job at Boeing’s factory in Washington State.

The livery features a massive ‘Qantas100’ imprint across the sides of the plane, which will feature heavily as the airline embarks on a range of celebrations over the next 12 months.

It also features every single Qantas logo since the airline was founded in 1920.

The latest Dreamliner will also be named “Longreach” in a nod to the series of 747-400 jumbos that are being retired and the Queensland town where the airline was started.

Image | Qantas

Image | Qantas

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the aircraft livery is “a reminder of the airline’s past on its newest piece of technology.

“The story of Qantas is the story of modern Australia, and the logos on this livery tell that story from the beginning,” Mr Joyce said.

“Our Centenary celebrations are all about honouring our past with an eye on the future, so it’s very fitting that this special livery will be worn by our newest state-of-the-art Dreamliner.”

Image | Qantas


Queensland voted Australia’s favourite holiday destination

QUEENSLAND has once again taken out the title of Australia’s favourite holiday destination.

38% of Australians voted the Sunshine State their number one holiday destination according to recently released data by Tourism & Transport Forum.

Victoria came in second with 16% following by New South Wales with 15% and then Tasmania 11%.

Western Australia accounted for 9%, followed by South Australia with 7% and Canberra at 2%.

“What’s not to love about a post winter warm-up holiday in the Sunshine State?” TTF Chief Executive Margy Osmond said.

“From beaches to theme parks, Queensland is the king of the Australian holidays and the data also tells us that even Queenslanders love Queensland, with 57% of the locals preferring to stay stateside for their annual break.”

The highest age group opting for a Queensland break was the 65+ category at 44% much of which could be due to reconnaissance missions for future retirement digs.

Women also lead the charge for a Queensland preference voting the Sunshine State in at 45%.

When it came to be choosing their holiday state, 29% of those surveyed said that when selecting a holiday style, they were looking for more nature-based ecotourism style holidays.

“They want to go beyond sightseeing and sunbathing,” Ms Osmond said.

“People are looking for inspirational activities, whilst getting that much needed change of scene and slower pace when compared to their normal busy lives.”

Virgin Australia

Apple MacBook’s banned from Virgin Australia’s checked-in luggage

Aussie travellers have been banned from taking Apple MacBooks in their checked-in luggage on Virgin Australia flights over battery fire fears.

The carrier is one of the first airlines in the country to issue the ban on the popular computers.

Virgin Australia issued the warning on their website, revealing the laptops can still be taken in carry-on baggage.

“Important information for passengers travelling with Apple MacBooks,” the post reads.

“Due to a worldwide recall by Apple of a number of Apple MacBook batteries, ALL Apple MacBooks must be placed in carry-on baggage only.”

“No Apple MacBooks are permitted in checked in baggage until further notice.”

The airline’s dangerous goods list states that “dangerous goods/hazardous materials are items or substances that may endanger the safety of the aircraft or guests on board.”

It comes just months after Apple recalled thousands of MacBook Pro laptops over fire safety risks.

“Apple has determined that, in a limited number of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units, the battery may overheat and pose a fire safety risk,” the company said in a statement in June.

“Customer safety is always Apple’s top priority and we have voluntarily decided to replace affected batteries, free of charge.”