Taking long haul to the next level

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Stopovers may soon be a thing of the past if Qantas has its way with its new range of planes.

Already holding the record for the world’s longest direct flight with its daily Dallas-Fort Worth to Sydney service, Qantas is aiming to increase this feat by connecting the UK and Australia direct by 2017. With the Dallas-Fort Worth to Sydney flight taking 17 hours and covering 13,968 kilometres, the new UK connection would add an extra hour, taking 18 in total and travelling a distance of more than 14,000 non stop.

Crossing eight time zones, the future longest commercial flight would use the latest Boeing 787-p Dreamliners to fly between Perth and London. Talking to Air Transport World, Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, said the range of the new Boeing 787-9 “has the range to operate such a route”,  adding, “this opens up direct service from Australia to Europe for the first time.”

Requiring two sets of pilots for the flight, as well as extra cabin crew, the route poses some potential challenges. Namely, as the most direct path passes over the Crimea, currently off limits to Western aircraft, after Malaysian Airlines’ flight MH17 was shot down last year killing all 298 on board. 

Secondly, should the aircraft need to divert to another airport in case of storms, the closest full-service international offering is Adelaide, which is a further two and a half hours and more than 2000 kilometres.

Still, if Qantas manages to work around these issues, the long-haul layover us Aussie have become accustomed to when travelling to and from Europe may be no more.

What do you think of this plan? Would you be willing to spend 18 hours stuck on a plane? Or do you prefer to break up your travel time with stopovers?

You can read more about Qantas’ proposed plan at the Telegraph.

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Written by SJ

16 Comments

Total Comments: 16
  1. 0
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    What about the cost for us ‘Easties’ to get to Perth & back. I, myself would rather take the ‘longer’ way flying from my nearest Capital city. Living in Albury, it would take 2 flights to get to Perth, then, of course, 2 to get back, which could potentially add 2 days to the trip. As it is, flying out of Sydney is a much less stressful way for me, any way. You’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons and consider which way you prefer to go – 19 hours non-stop from Perth with possibly 2 additional days in travel, OR 24+ hours (with stop-overs) from Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane.

    • 0
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      In case you were unaware Sue Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane contain most of the country’s population. If you add on the 4 and a half hours to get to Perth then your 18 hour ‘quick’ flight becomes 22.5 hours…and that does not even include the extra cost and time to change planes.
      This story is irrelevant. Sorry.

    • 0
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      Mick,
      If you have a look at the information I have given. We live in Albury, which is a 1 hour & 20 minute flight to Sydney, then transiting and connecting to another flight which could take up to 2.5 hours, this means that the total time we have to get to Perth is around 7 1/2 hours. Then there is the time between arriving in Perth and the time between arriving and the departure of the 19 hours of the non-stop flight. In my humble opinion, it would not be worth the cost or time.

      We only have 3 flights to Sydney per day. Even leaving on the 10.00 am departure (QANTAS) gets us into Sydney at 11.30 am, the connecting plane would be at 1.00 pm, arriving in Perth @ 4.10 pm. This adds up to 6 hours between leaving home and arriving in Perth, then the transit & waiting time before the flight leaves Perth. Add all this to the 19 hours of flying time, it comes more than 24 hours – so, no thanks from me.

  2. 0
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    Until a direct flight time to UK or Europe takes no more than 10 hours, my preference is always to have a one night stopover in whichever the airlines capital city is.

    • 0
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      Called the Concord. There was talk recently of putting these back into service but I doubt that it would ever happen.

    • 0
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      The last time I flew to the UK, we stopped over in Japan,with JAL, with a comfortable hotel (Accessible via a short walkway from the airport concourse) and great buffet breakfast, free. That break is so necessary after sitting in a seat for around 11 hours, and the rest of the journey is only about 10 hours, if I remember correctly, but I could be wrong. And flying to Italy, a stopover in Dubai with breakfast,free, is so good, especially to notice all the gold leaf every where in the airport (it isn’t brass, that needs cleaning !). I have flown to Los Angeles and a 13 hour flight is taxing. You can walk around the plane so many times !. I would not sit in a seat for18 hours though business class seats are more like armchairs, at least they are on BA.

  3. 0
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    I went to Amsterdam in 2009, expecting a 2 hour stopover in KL. It turned out to be 4 hours in the middle of the night. It was a nightmare, the only place to sit was in a cafe or in he corridors on open benches without backs or armrests. The lounges with decent seating were locked, and opened just before boarding. Bit hard to sit in a cafe without local currency to buy a coffee or snack. All other shops on concord were closed.

  4. 0
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    And what is the cost likely to be? Qantas is already the most expensive airline to fly to the UK for example – considerably more expensive than BA with whom they recently split code sharing in favour of Emirate with the consequential several hours transit in Dubai (up to 48 hours). Sounds more like an opportunity to charge huge amounts to ordinary travellers for what will amount to a smaller time saving. You can already get to UK in 22.5 hours flying other airlines so a saving of only 4 hours may not be worth the price you will have to pay. Not to mention the extra time and cost involved in getting from the East to the West Coast or to Adelaide to get the time-saving flight. So for the foreseeable future, I will be sticking with flying from Sydney to Europe. Cheaper and more convenient.

    • 0
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      That was my first thought – what about the cost!!
      Yes, we too got to Birmingham, UK in just over 21 hours
      flying Emirates a few years ago from Perth, and only a short stop over in Dubai. It was great to get to our destination still in daylight, and after a pleasant and comfortable flight.

  5. 0
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    With Qantas’ new fare prices they will be getting non-stop payments.

  6. 0
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    Sounds good on paper BUT. . . could anyone sit that long? Yes, I know the advice is ‘get up, move around’ if you can dodge those food trolleys. Once upon a time it was possible, just , to slide past; now you must stand on someone’s toes between seats until it goes past or back up into the nearest galley. Does not make for comradely feelings. Widening the aisles would do the trick but I can’t see that happening.

  7. 0
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    Would not fly Quantas, overpriced and overated.

  8. 0
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    18 hours in an aluminium, or carbon fibre tube, is way too much in one session.
    Flying Qantas would mean landing at Heathrow which, in my opinion, is not a nice thought.
    Emirates, Etihad or Qatar into one of the other airports in the UK would be my choice.
    As others have commented to get from the East coast to the West just adds to cost and time so nothing is really saved.

  9. 0
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    Irrelevant for those of us on the east coast. Cattle class is bad enough but 18 hours – no way.


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