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.
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.
As frequent flyers know too well, very few flights ever leave on time. There’s always a reason (or at least, an excuse) of course. And a late departure doesn’t necessarily mean a late arrival — although it often does.
But for everyone except the most casual travellers, there are appointments and connections that have to be met, so on-time performance is important.