Qantas Airways Ltd. will run marathon ghost flights from New York and London to Sydney carrying just a few staff to see how the human body holds up before commercial services start.
Qantas said Thursday it will simulate the world’s longest direct flights with Boeing Co. Dreamliners as soon as October. The payload of 40 passengers and crew, most of them employees, will undergo a host of medical checks and assessments.
The Australian airline wants to start direct flights connecting Sydney to New York and London as soon as 2022. Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce calls the services aviation’s final frontier.
The services, which take about 20 hours, aren’t yet a sure thing. Qantas still hasn’t decided on a Boeing or Airbus SE plane that can fly the route fully laden and without a break. And it’s not clear how passengers will tolerate living in the cabin for the best part of a day and night.
“The things we learn on these flights will be invaluable,” Joyce said on a call Thursday.
Joyce has previously said he plans to choose either Boeing’s 777-8X or Airbus’ ultra-long-range A350-900ULR and -1000ULR for the flights.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Joyce said the delay to Boeing’s 777X program hasn’t excluded the U.S. manufacturer from the deal.
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The government is telling airlines and passengers how it will enforce rules governing animals that people bring on planes.
The Transportation Department said Thursday that airline employees can bar any animal they consider a safety threat. Airlines, however, can be punished if they ban an entire dog or cat breed, such as pit bulls.
The department’s enforcement office said that it doesn’t plan to stop airlines from asking passengers “reasonable” questions about a service animal’s vaccinations, training and behavior. Airlines can require advance notice if passengers plan to bring an emotional support animal — several already do — but can’t impose the same requirement for service animals such as guide dogs for the blind.
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11:07 AM PT — According to Atlanta PD, a call for service came in Friday for a dispute at the gate of an airport, which we’re told appears to be related to this incident Bam was involved in here. Luckily for him, no arrests were made — which jives with what you hear the video below. The officer says he was taking Bam to a hotel shuttle so he wouldn’t get in trouble. APD also clarified that the guy in the yellow vest is not a police officer, he appears to be an airport employee.