Two Qantas Airways Airbus A330 aircraft can be seen on the tarmac near the domestic terminal at Sydney Airport. Picture by David Gray for Reuters

London - Qantas is closer to the "final frontier of aviation" with plans to fly the 10 500 miles between London and Sydney non-stop.

Passengers and pilots on the 19-hour test flights between London and New York and Australia’s East Coast will have checks to see how they would cope with the world’s longest commercial flights.

The Australian flag carrier launched a 17-hour service between London and Perth on the West Coast last year. 

But it said test flights to Sydney will take place as part of what it calls "Project Sunrise". This is the first of it's kind and not something the airline is going to launch overnight. The project will be piloted and there will be many test flights before you'll be able to book your one way flight.

Three Boeing 787-9's flights will take off from October, with 40 passengers and crew.

Those on board – mainly staff – will have health checks with sleep patterns and eating checks. 

The airline is not taking any risks and is leaving nothing to chance. Scientists will record pilots’ melatonin levels before, during and after.

Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. Pilots will also have their brainwave patterns and alertness monitored.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce says: "Non-stop from the East Coast to London and New York is the final frontier in aviation, so we’re doing all the groundwork to get this right. For customers, the key is minimising jet lag."

The airline has yet to announce a timeline for when it envisions opening up the flight route to the public.

Daily Mail