WATCH | Qantas is launching world-first research into the effect of a 19-hour flight on the human body

2019-08-27 05:00
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Think you can do 19 hours non-stop on a plane? 

Currently, the longest flight is operated by Singapore Airlines to Newark - a total of 18 hours and 45 minutes - but a new player is coming into the long-haul game. 

Qantas may startup new routes from the east coast of Australia to London and New York as part of Project Sunrise.

READ: Which is the safest airline in the world?

As part of their planning process, the Australian carrier will be conducting tests on passengers on three long-haul delivery flights on board re-purposed Boeing 787-9s.

Instead of flying empty, 40 crew and passengers - mostly Qantas employees as tickets won't be available to the public - will fly hooked up to wearable technology that will monitor their vitals, including sleep patterns, food and beverage consumption, lighting, physical movement and in-flight entertainment. 

Pilots and the crew will also be monitored for additional data to help formulate the best work schedule for this kind of flight.

This one-of-a-kind research will show what kind of impact long-haul flights has on the human body, research that hasn't been done before.

The research will be conducted in partnership with Sydney University’s Charles Perkins Centre and Monash University, and the data will also be shared with Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority. 

WATCH: Electric planes and the world's longest-range single aisle airliner at the Paris Air Show

Both Airbus and Boeing pitched their A350 and 777X aircraft to service the route with a viable commercial payload, but the final decision for whether or not the routes will be launched will only be made at the end of December 2019.

“For customers, the key will be minimising jet lag and creating an environment where they are looking forward to a restful, enjoyable flight," says Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce in a statement.

"For crew, it’s about using scientific research to determine the best opportunities to promote alertness when they are on duty and maximise rest during their downtime on these flights.

“Flying non-stop from the east coast of Australia to London and New York is truly the final frontier in aviation, so we’re determined to do all the groundwork to get this right."

The research will also help planning and passenger comfort on existing long-haul flights. 

SEE: A look at the world's longest flight routes (and the price tag attached) 

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce and Captain Lisa Norma

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce and Captain Lisa Norman. (Photo: Qantas)

Compiled by Gabi Zietsman

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