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Qantas to start non-stop flight from UK to Oz
Posted on 12/10/2015

TransportAustralia

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The Australian airline has big plans to strengthen its title as the airline with the longest flight time on record, beginning with direct flights from London to Perth.

Australian airline Qantas has announced plans for a non-stop service between London and Perth, covering a distance of more than 9,000 miles and crossing eight different time zones. Plans are set to be put into practise by 2017 and will be the first ever non-stop flight from the UK to Australia.

New planes, new routes

New planes, new routes
Wikipedia

Qantas will run the service with its latest Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which is set to be phased into their air travel programmes throughout 2018 and 2019. As well as maximised comfort, the use of more fuel efficient technologies, and Smoother Ride technology to reduce turbulence, the Dreamliner aircraft will be venturing to new locations and on new routes.

Flight details

The journey from England's capital to Western Australia will be the first move towards direct services between Europe and Australia. Departure from Perth is currently scheduled for early evening, which would mean an arrival time in London at noon the following day. With a similar return flight from London, flight schedules are hoping to allow for connecting flights at both ends.

The ambitious flight time will require two pairs of pilots to share the duties, as well as extra cabin crew, with a rest area built into the planes.

So far, the suggested route has raised concerns since it crosses air space that is currently off-limits to western aircraft. Diversions would need to be implemented to avoid places such as Crimea, where Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down last year.

Along with a potentially difficult flight path, there are also concerns about the lack of emergency airports in Western Australia, in case Perth is forced to close. The nearest international airport is in Adelaide, a further 1,300 miles to the east, or 2.5 hours of flying time.

Qantas currently holds the record for the longest flight time on its route from Dallas to Sydney, which takes 17 hours. But rival airline Emirates is threatening the Australian airline's title with a flight from Dubai to Panama, which will take an estimated 17hrs 35mins.

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