SYDNEY (Reuters) – Qantas Airways Ltd plans to have more experienced pilots on board the world’s longest non-stop flights than on its current long-haul flights for the first 18 months as it evaluates fatigue, said sources with knowledge of the matter.
The airline said last week it could buy up to 12 Airbus SE A350 planes for the commercial flights of up to 21 hours that includes the Sydney-London route, but the deal depends on pilots voting to approve a pay agreement in March.
Order - Aircraft - Gap - Business - Case
“To be clear, we have not yet placed an order for this aircraft because we still have a gap to close in the business case,” Qantas Chief Pilot Dick Tobiano said in an internal memo to pilots seen by Reuters.
Qantas said Australia’s aviation regulator had provisionally advised it saw no regulatory obstacles to the flights, which could extend pilot duty times to as long as 23 hours to account for potential delays. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Airline - Crew - Studies - London-Sydney - New
The airline has conducted crew fatigue studies on London-Sydney and New York-Sydney test flights.
On its current long-haul flights, Qantas has a crew of one captain, one first officer and two second officers, the latter of which can only fly at cruising altitudes and cannot perform takeoffs or...
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