Qantas expects to charge a 20 per cent premium on direct Project Sunrise flights from Australia’s east coast to London and New York.
Speaking at a media roundtable at the International Air Transport Association’s annual general meeting in Istanbul, incoming Qantas CEO and current CFO Vanessa Hudson said premiums on Project Sunrise would at least be similar to those on the current Perth to London route.
“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,” she said.
Qantas plans to operate Project Sunrise flights using Airbus A350-1000 aircraft that will be fitted with more business and first-class seats than its current Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.
As reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, current CEO Alan Joyce says Project Sunrise is aiming at travellers willing to pay extra to fly direct rather than stopping over in places like Singapore and Dubai.
“The big market for us has historically been the UK, to Europe and North America,” he said.
“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.”
Hudson and Joyce’s comments align with the Flying Kangaroo’s expectations that Project Sunrise will generate more than $400 million in earnings in its first full year of having its full fleet in service.
Last month the national carrier said the ultra-long-haul flights, set to begin incrementally from 2025, would help grow its overall international margins from five per cent pre-pandemic to up to 12 per cent.
Australian Aviation previously reported how Project Sunrise direct flights from Australia’s east coast are likely to begin with New York, not London, by the end of 2025.
In comments reported by Bloomberg, Joyce revealed the British capital would follow next, despite its current flights there being its most iconic “Kangaroo” service and one of the first routes restarted post-pandemic.
The delivery of the A350-1000s necessary to fly the routes is complicated because Qantas has requested they have additional fuel tanks to make the 20-hour flight possible.