Qantas has slowly but surely been unveiling a new strategy for its big-ticket flights from Australia.
On top of its announced aim to offer ultra-long-haul flights from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, the Flying Kangaroo is preparingto redirect its flagship QF Flight 1 to London back via Singapore, rather than Dubai, which has been the single stopover for the past few years.
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.
I’ve mentioned here before that I’ve become a regular contributor to Quora.com, and that my answers to questions on travel are gaining a small amount of attention.
Well, in the past few days, one of them has gone through the roof. There have been tens of thousands of engagements with my answer to this question:Is it okay to stay in a hotel with a fiancée for a vacation in Abu Dhabi?
It’s been a long time since I flew Jetstar. In fact, when I last did, the Qantas subsidiary still had unallocated seating — an “innovation” it very quickly abandoned.
But from what I’ve heard and read, it comes as little surprise that Jetstar has been has named the world’s worst airline in an international survey. Equally, it’s no surprise that it is fighting back, because the methodology was clearly flawed.
Just about everybody on the internet knows about the incident involving an overbooked United Airlines flight. Here’s an editorial I wrote for Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper, noting that United is one of the American airlines trying to limit the operations of carriers from the Arabian Gulf in the US. Dubai-based Emirates airline has made a similar point in this video:
PS: If you think the Chicago incident was a one-off, read this. A first-class passenger was threatened with being handcuffed if he didn’t get off a plane to allow somebody more important to fly. No wonder United is worried about competition. It really sucks. Rather than defend the indefensible, big boss Oscar Munoz should resign and let somebody else take over.
Update: according to this legal opinion, United had no right to take a passenger off a plane in this manner.
In the current climate of austerity, many people are thinking twice about paying for business-class airfares.
As I’ve argued before, if you can afford to fly business and you want to, nothing should stop you from treating yourself. However, if it’s going to break the bank, you don’t have to totally slum it in the ever-tighter economy or “basic economy” seats.
Birds on a plane? At first that idea seems a little ridiculous, but several airlines that fly in the Middle East allow falcons to travel in the passenger cabin.
These birds of prey, who compete in pursuit events across the region, are highly prized by their owners and are worth considerable sums. And, no, they can’t just fly to their destination (after all, they are not homing pigeons). Continue reading Fly like a falcon
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?