By Philip Waller
Airbus is throwing its hat into the ring in a Qantas project to run non-stop flights to Australian east-coast cities from New York and London, the European aircraft maker said Thursday.
Airbus will offer its longer-range A350-1000 to Qantas, in competition with Boeing's 777-8, for the flights, which would remove the need for interim stops in locations such as Singapore. The first of three technical test flights will take place this week using a lightly-loaded Boeing 787 Dreamliner flying from New York to Sydney.
Airbus said that other destinations could eventually benefit if the scheme is successful.
"This is a challenge that Qantas has tabled to conquer the last frontiers of non-stop air travel," said Maria Luisa Luca Ugena, Airbus Head of A350 Product Marketing.
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