How ultra long-haul flights will change the way we travel

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.

But it will come with consequences —  Continue reading How ultra long-haul flights will change the way we travel

Boeing, Boeing, gone

The classic Little Golden Book Gordon’s Jet Flight, by Naomi Glasson and Mel Crawford, was first published in 1961. I read it when I was old enough to read Little Golden Books.


In my memory, it was about a little boy’s first flight on a Boeing 747 Jumbo, but as the cover shows, it was about the B707, which was still a mighty plane in its day.

Continue reading Boeing, Boeing, gone

Too far to fly?


How long is too long to sit on an aircraft? I guess the answer depends on who you’re flying with and what class you’re in. And, perhaps, who you are sitting next to.

In any case, some Emirates airline passengers are about to find out, with a new direct service between Dubai and Auckland that will keep them aloft between 16 hours and 17hr 15 mins.

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?