SYDNEY: An Australian airline is likely to extract a 20 per cent premium from passengers on the world’s longest direct flights when it launches nonstop services connecting Sydney with New York and London in late 2025.The Australian flag carrier is betting on passengers paying a premium for seats on the marathon 20-hour legs to avoid the hassle and extra time spent transiting on the way. Tickets on services between Perth, Australia and London already cost 20 per cent more than flights that stop on the way in Singapore or the Middle East, chief financial officer Vanessa Hudson said at an airline industry gathering in Istanbul on Monday.
It’s “very reasonable” to assume passengers will be prepared to pay the same price hike for the coming ultra-long flights, dubbed Project Sunrise, Hudson said at the annual meeting of the International Air Transport Association.
The airline has ordered 12 customised Airbus SE A350 twin-aisle aircraft to operate the routes. The airline said last month that the A350s and Project Sunrise will deliver at least $400m ($264m) of operating profit a year once the entire fleet is in service. International flying will be at least twice as lucrative in the post-Covid era, thanks to new income from these marathon flights and deep cost cuts during the pandemic, the airline has said. Currently, the world’s longest direct flights are between Singapore and New York.
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