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Qantas prepares to fly world’s longest route in 2018

Qantas offers the world’s first non-stop direct flights between Australia and Europe.

(Reuters File)

Don’t forget the length of the flight for a moment, and forgotten the number of hours in the air.

Qantas’ announcement of a new flight from Perth to London is not only the longest but also the making of aviation history. It will be the first time, ever, that has a regularly scheduled non-stop flight will exist between the two continents.

“This is a game-changing the route flown by a game-changing aircraft,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement, referring to the Dreamliner 787-9, which will be used for the route. “Australians have never had a direct link to Europe, so the opportunities this opens up are huge.”

Qantas’ original flight between Sydney and London took four days with nine stops about 70 years ago.

The Australian carrier currently has a number of flights between Australia and Europe, but they come with a stopover in Dubai or Singapore. This new flight between Perth and London, set to begin in March 2018, 17 hours, without the need for stopping– a trip of a total of more than 9,000 km.

So where does that flight in terms of the world’s longest?

It’s all relative, depending on whether you measure by distance or time in the air. Now, the longest flight by distance is the 9,408 km covered by Air India, the route between Delhi and San Francisco. But for the sake of the favourable tailwinds over the Pacific Ocean, the flight is only 14 hours and 30 minutes longer in distance than Qantas’ new route will be even shorter on time.

Emirates, the Dubai-to-Auckland flight arrives at 8,824 km with a flying time of 16 hours and 35 minutes.

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Qantas’ own Sydney to Dallas route is 8,577 miles, with a time of 15-and-a-half hours.

And United flight from San Francisco to Singapore is 8,446 km or 16 hours and 20 minutes from takeoff to landing.

But the Perth-to-London flight to be only the title of the world’s longest, at 9,009 km and 17 hours, for only a few months after the launch in March of 2018.

Later that year, Singapore Airlines will re-introduce the route between Singapore and Newark-Liberty International Airport with the new A-350 “Ultra-Long Range aircraft. That flight of 18 hours and the coverage is 9,534 km.

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