Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” airplane
Source: Qantas Airways.

The Kangaroo Route is Finally Without Stops: Qantas Airways Announces Service Between London and Perth

“When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops. Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop”, said Alan Joyce — who is the chief executive officer of Qantas Group — according to this official press release from Qantas Airways. “This is a game-changing route flown by a game-changing aircraft. Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before, so the opportunities this opens up are huge.”

The Kangaroo Route is Finally Without Stops

The perceived ebullience of Joyce in his statement is in response to the first direct link between Australia and Europe — using Western Australia as a hub — of what is to be the shortest and fastest version of the Kangaroo Route in the 70 year history of Qantas Airways: regular passenger service of non-stop flights between Perth and London operated by Qantas Airways with Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” airplanes capable of carrying 236 passengers.

Tickets for seats on the flights — whose distance will be 14,498 kilometers and last for a duration of approximately 17 hours — will go on sale in April of 2017 for an expected launch in March of 2018…

Longest Flights in the World

…but while it will have the distinction of becoming the new longest flight in the Qantas Airways network as well as the longest flight in the world using a Boeing “Dreamliner” airplane, do not expect for it to be the longest passenger flight in the world overall. That title currently goes to Emirates Airline, whose flight 449 travels 14,200 kilometers from Auckland to Dubai and lasts for a duration of 17 hours and 25 minutes.

Even that flight does not compare to what was once the longest flight in the world. Flight 21 was operated by Singapore Airlines from Newark to Singapore with a distance of 9,535 miles or 15,345 kilometers and a flight time of as much as 18 hours and 50 minutes. The flight was first launched on June 28, 2004; and the last flight occurred on November 23, 2013.

Flight 37 — which was also operated by Singapore Airlines — was the second longest flight in the world from Los Angeles to Singapore with a distance of 8,770 miles or 14,114 kilometers and a flight time of as much as 18 hours and five minutes. The flight was first launched on February 3, 2004; and the last flight occurred on October 20, 2013.

Reasons cited for the discontinuation of those flights include high fuel costs and fewer people willing to pay the price for a premium-class airfare, as the configuration of the entire Airbus A340-500 aircraft used on those flights is all business class. Singapore Airlines had announced its intention to sell the five Airbus A340-500 aircraft which operated on those routes back to Airbus as part of a multi-billion dollar deal to purchase 25 new wide-body jets from Airbus.


“When we designed the interior of our 787s, we wanted to make sure passengers would be comfortable on the extended missions the aircraft was capable of”, proclaimed Joyce, citing that passenger comfort on the long flight was a key consideration. “That’s why we have features in our Economy seats that other airlines reserve for Premium Economy. Our Business Suite has been nicknamed ‘mini First class’ by many of our frequent flyers. And we’re redesigning our on-board service to help reduce jetlag,”

Long non-stop flights between distant places helps to cut down on the time which would otherwise be spent connecting between flights — especially as inclement weather can exacerbate the length of time and increase the chances of missing the connecting flight to the final destination…

…but long flights can also be potentially boring when sitting in a metal tube for 18 hours. I have traveled on long-haul flights flights in the past — such as from Los Angeles to Sydney as a passenger seated in the business class cabin in the upper deck of a Boeing 747-400 aircraft operated by Qantas Airways; and also as a passenger seated in the economy class cabin of an Airbus A340-642 aircraft operated by China Eastern Airlines from Shanghai to New York.

I personally like flights which last that long, as they give me a chance to sleep, watch a movie, do some work, listen to music, eat a meal leisurely, and just stare outside the window if I am seated in a seat next to the window. I also like short flights…

…but it is those medium haul flights — which last for four hours, as one example — which seem to be the most tedious, as there is not enough time to do much of anything; but the flight seems to last forever…

Source: Qantas Airways.

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