Qantas says it wants to be able to fly from the east coast of Australia (Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) non-stop to London. It’s just waiting for aircraft manufacturers to build a plane that can do it.
Given that a Boeing 777 LR plane can already fly non-stop for 17 hours, a 20-plus-hour flight may not be far away. Airbus’s A350 apparently also has potential.
Now that may seem a long time to white-knuckle flyers, but those who enjoy the airline experience might see it as a bonus. If nothing else, it stops you wasting your time in a stopover when you could be getting to where you need to be.
The Dubai-Auckland route is one of several contenders for world’s longest direct flight, all made possible by new aircraft technology, lower oil prices and more efficient air-traffic control systems. And it’s an impressive thing, especially for those of us who remember long haul flight of yore than involved two or three stops.
This flight will use the Boeing 777-200LR aircraft which, while very impressive, doesn’t have all the attractions of the larger Airbus A380s that Emirates uses on other long-haul routes.
But as an Australian, in the tradition of friendly trans-Tasman rivalry, I do have to ask: why would anybody want to bypass Australia on their way to New Zealand?
This is how Air France farewell the last Boeing 747 jet. Once the biggest and best aircraft in any airline’s fleet, the jumbos are slowly going out of service, superseded by the larger A380 and a series of smaller, more fuel-efficient aircraft fro both Boeing and Airbus.