Would being on one of the world’s longest flights excite you or scare you?
THE FUTURE of air travel is here. On Saturday, Qantas Airways successfully pushed boundaries with a 17-hour nonstop flight from Perth, Australia, to London’s Heathrow.
It truly is a historic moment in aviation history as traveling from Australia to the UK has evolved from a six-week sea voyage to just a single 17-hour flight in less than a century.
The route has been affectionately named the “kangaroo route”, under the airline’s Project Sunrise.
The flight on Qantas’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner was the first commercial passenger jet to connect the two countries, but not the longest nonstop flight – even if it took over 17 hours to complete.
Many improvements were made and many measures were taken to ensure the safety of the journey and the comfort of its passengers.
This includes the seat configuration tweak (236 instead of the 335 maximum), choice of over 1,500 in-flight entertainment options, incorporation of new technology to better handle turbulence, a team of four pilots with one or two pilots resting at any one time, and many more.
— Wayne Kwong (@waynewykwong) March 25, 2018
But the 14,499km Perth to London flight is just the start of Qantas’ Project Sunrise.
And already, Singapore Airlines is ready to one-up both Qantas as well as Qatar when it launches its 19-hour Singapore to New York direct flight.
Note: Qatar Airways flies the world’s longest nonstop commercial flight, a 14,500km marathon from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand.
— Singapore Airlines (@SingaporeAir) October 13, 2015
The 15,348km route will use a new version of the Airbus A350-900ULR, an ultra-long-haul jet fresh off its production line.
Singapore Airlines had previously held discussions with Airbus and Boeing on developing a plane with new technology that would allow it to fly nonstop to the US profitably, according to Traveller.
The exact date of the maiden flight, which will help the airline regain the title of world’s longest flight, is unconfirmed. But rumor has it that it will take off sometime later this year.
Not to be defeated, Qantas has also issued a challenge to Airbus and Boeing to design jets capable of carrying passengers from Sydney to London on a 20-hour flight over 17,016km.
Project Sunrise, which has ambitious potential routes to Cape Town, South Africa (11,012km); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (13,541km); New York, US (16,013km); Frankfurt, Germany (16,494km); and Paris, France (16,941km) has a due date of 2022.
Qantas is one of the very few airlines that operate on such long-distance routes, and the first Australian airline to do so.
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 25, 2018
Let’s take a look at the world’s current longest nonstop flights:
- Qatar: Auckland to Doha, 17 hours and 40 minutes (14,500km).
- Emirates: Auckland to Dubai, 17 hours and 20 minutes (14,200km).
- Qantas: Perth to London, 17 hours and 20 minutes (14,500km).
- United Airlines: Los Angeles to Singapore, 17 hours and 20 minutes (14,100km).
- United Airlines and Singapore Airlines: San Francisco to Singapore, 17 hours and 15 minutes (13,592km).
- Delta Air Lines: Johannesburg to Atlanta, 16 hours and 55 minutes (13,581km).
- Qantas: Sydney to Dallas/Forth Worth, 16 hours and 50 minutes (13,805km).
- Etihad: Abu Dhabi to Los Angeles, 16 hours and 45 minutes (13,502km).
- Saudia: Jeddah to Los Angeles, 16 hours and 40 minutes (13,409km).
- Emirates: Dubai to Los Angeles, 16 hours and 15 minutes (13,420km).
On another note, while ultra-long-haul flights may save you a couple of hours by cutting short your travel time, being cooped up in a metal tube for long stretches at a time can cause extra stress to the body, even for the hardiest of air travelers.
Would you go for it?
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Source: Travels travelwireasia.com