Qantas flight 7879 touched down at Sydney airport at 7:30 a.m. local time on Sunday after completing a record breaking 19-hour flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy international airport. The commercial flight had taken off from New York at 9:27 p.m. on Friday night, with just 49 people on board, including six pilots, six members of cabin crew (including a chef), the airline’s chief executive, Alan Joyce, a group of journalists and reporters, and six frequent flyers, all brought on board to test the physical and mental effects of extremely long haul flights. The flight path covered 16,200 kilometres—about 900 kilometres more than the current longest commercial flight from Singapore to New York.
The Dreamliner was restricted to such a small amount of passengers to ensure it was light enough to make it from New York to Sydney with just a single tank of fuel. All the passengers were seated in business class and were allowed very minimal luggage.