Qantas flies what used to be the longest flight in the world, Sydney – Dallas, with an Airbus A380.
I flew first class on the airline’s big bird Sydney – Los Angeles and have an upcoming award booked for Dubai – Sydney which is a pretty long flight as well.
The past 18 months have seen plenty of speculation of new routes longer than Dallas – Sydney:
- Emirates was supposed to launch Dubai – Panama City operated by a Boeing 777-200LR but postponed the route.
- Air India considered topping that with San Francisco – Bangalore but ultimately announced San Francisco – Delhi instead.
- Both China Airlines and EVA Air are considering Miami service which would be 63 miles longer than Dubai – Panama city.
The current world’s longest flight exceeds all of those: Emirates Dubai – Auckland at 8824 miles.
And at the end of January that will be surpassed by Qatar’s Doha – Auckland service operated by a Boeing 777-200LR, clocking in at 9032 miles.
For the past year Qantas has been talking about their own flight that tops Dubai – Auckland: Perth, in Western Australia, to London with a new Boeing 787-9 in late 2017.
With Qantas boss Alan Joyce set to fly to WA tomorrow to make an announcement alongside airport chiefs and Premier Colin Barnett, it is understood the airline and Perth Airport are close to finalising the landmark agreement.
The development would pave the way for direct flights from Perth to London using Qantas’ revolutionary Boeing 787 planes, with the potential for extra routes to Paris, Frankfurt and Rome to follow.
Qantas is expected to take delivery of its first Boeing 787, which will be capable of flying between Perth and London in 171/2 hours, late next year.
Here’s the thing:
- I calculate it at 23 miles shorter than Doha – Auckland.
- It still wouldn’t be the longest scheduled commercial flight ever, as it’s 500 miles shorter than Singapore Airlines’ former Newark – Singapore route. Singapore Airlines is expected to return to New York (and Los Angeles) when Airbus completes and delivers the ‘ultra long range’ version of its A350.
Here’s why it will be the longest flight in operation at the time of launch (even if only briefly until Singapore returns to New York): while the great circle routing for Perth-London is shorter than Doha-Auckland, Qantas won’t fly precisely direct. They’ll divert slightly to avoid Crimea and the actual flight distance will be marginally greater.
Why Perth? It’s a whole lot shorter than the traditional ‘Kangaroo Route’ Sydney – London.
I think that connections from Australia to European destinations are better-served via Dubai with their partner Emirates and a London direct flight would be most valuable only to passengers with London as their final destination. Why overfly whatever European city you’re headed to, and be forced to connect at Heathrow?
The 787’s crew rest area will certainly get use on such a long flight.
Qantas could fly the Boeing 787-9 Sydney – Chicago and that’s an even longer flight than Perth – London Heathrow. However that’s not going to happen without their American Airlines joint venture that the Department of Transportation rejected.
The longest flight I’ve ever taken is Los Angeles – Abu Dhabi. It’s long, but doesn’t feel materially longer than New York JFK – Hong Kong or even New York JFK – Abu Dhabi. Long flights are long flights, the last couple of hours aren’t noticeable to me at least in premium cabins.
(HT: One Mile at a Time)