Qantas flight planners are working on the fine details of what is shaping up as the final frontier for the airline.

The Australian carrier is near a crucial stage of its long-planned Project Sunrise programme, aimed at introducing new non-stop routes from New York to Sydney and London to Australia with new aircraft as early as 2022.

First, it needs to find out how those flights will affect passengers and crew, so it will trial the routes with three flights over the next three months.

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Air NZ also turns sights to the Big Apple

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