Qantas jet lands in Sydney after non-stop flight from London
A non-stop Qantas flight from London to Sydney has landed, 19 hours and 19 minutes after take-off.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is believed to have set a long-distance record for a passenger jet, having left Heathrow around 6am local time on Thursday and touching down in Sydney at 12:28pm on Friday.
Carrying 40 people, many of them Qantas staffers, the flight was conducted in order to research the effects on crew and passengers of ultra long haul services which are under consideration by the airline.
Those on board witnessed two sunrises, the first to the right of the aircraft as it headed north-east after takeoff, and the second to its left as it flew over Indonesia.
Aside from research, the flight kicked off a year of celebrations for the centenary of the airline, which will officially turn 99 on Saturday.
Qantas chairman Richard Goyder said the flight continued the airline’s history of helping Australia engage with the rest of the world.
“Qantas is a national icon because it’s been such a big part of Australian life for so long,” Mr Goyder said in a statement.
“Our founders talked about overcoming the tyranny of distance and through the years we’ve moved from bi-planes, to single wing, to jets to help bring things closer.”