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Long Flights

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Geography Guy
1012881.  Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:34 am Reply with quote

The longest non-stop currently commercially available flight is the Singapore-Newark, New Jersey route, operated by Singapore Airlines as Flight 21. The route covers over 9,500 miles (15,300 km) and lasts for around 18.5 hours.
However, Singapore Airlines is planning to shut down its longest Singapore-USA routes by November 2013. After this, the longest flight by distance will be Qantas Flight 7 from Sydney to Dallas TX, covering 8,600 miles (13,800 km) and lasting for around 15.5 hours. While Delta Airline's Johannesburg-Atlanta route only covers 8,400 miles (13,600 km), it will soon become the longest flight in terms of duration, taking up to 17 hours.

Now for a semi-related question. How many airports host regularly scheduled flights to all 6 of the world's inhabited continents? I believe I have found three: Dubai International Airport, UAE; Doha International Airport, Qatar; and Johannesburg International Airport, South Africa. Any more out there?

 
suze
1012900.  Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:27 am Reply with quote

I'd expect there to be a fair number more. British Airways alone serves all six continents from London Heathrow. So does Air France from Paris Charles de Gaulle, if we allow Tahiti to count as the same continent as Australia.

Hong Kong, New York JFK, Sydney Kingsford-Smith, and Toronto LBP certainly serve all six continents too.


A couple of others which came to mind don't fit, though. Amsterdam Schiphol and Atlanta Hartfield-Jackson don't go to Australia, for instance.

 
'yorz
1012908.  Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:39 am Reply with quote

There certainly are flights from Schiphol to Sydney, albeit with at least one stopover (Air France, Air China)

 
suze
1012921.  Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:18 am Reply with quote

Score a point for local knowledge over believing what it says on Wikipedia!

In that case, add Amsterdam Schiphol to the list.

 
Geography Guy
1012924.  Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:23 am Reply with quote

I should have made it clearer that I was referring to non-stop flights only. Otherwise, I think you can get to every continent from just about every airport.
suze wrote:
British Airways alone serves all six continents from London Heathrow. So does Air France from Paris Charles de Gaulle, if we allow Tahiti to count as the same continent as Australia.

Hong Kong, New York JFK, Sydney Kingsford-Smith, and Toronto LBP certainly serve all six continents too.

I can tell you now that there are no direct flights from Australia to Europe, or vice versa. The mandatory stopover in Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok or Tokyo is a pain for many travellers. So, not Heathrow, and not Sydney. JFK also has no direct flights to Australia. Though I find it unlikely that there are direct flights from Vancouver to Africa, or Hong Kong to South America, maybe I missed some. Can anyone confirm?

 
suze
1012952.  Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:46 am Reply with quote

Geography Guy wrote:
I should have made it clearer that I was referring to non-stop flights only. Otherwise, I think you can get to every continent from just about every airport.


It looks as if the lists on Wikipedia count Y as a destination served from X if it is possible to buy a flight as one sector and make that flight on one airplane. You can do that for flights from (say) London Heathrow to Sydney, much as there is a stopover, so they count it. Incidentally, Paris CDG to Tahiti goes the other way around - the stopover is at LAX.

But as you say, there are not and never have been commercial flights which operate non-stop from Europe to Australia. Mind you, Garuda has announced non-stop flights from LHR to Jakarta which will begin later this year. Jakarta is west of the Wallace Line and hence must be counted as Asia, but it's desperately close!

More recently, Turkish Airlines has announced that it plans to launch a route LHR - İstanbul Atatürk - Sydney within three years. İstanbul Atatürk is on the European side, so that will be a first. What's more, it will enable İstanbul to be added to the list - it's already possible to fly non-stop from there to both JFK and São Paulo.

DFW and LAX both go non-stop to every continent bar Africa, and so - as you suggest - does YVR. Tokyo Narita doesn't do South America, and neither does Hong Kong. (Wikipedia alleges that there are non-stop flights between Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro, but this seems to be wrong.)

Howsabout Abu Dhabi, though? Dubai is Emirates' hub but Etihad's is Abu Dhabi, and it is possible to fly non-stop from Abu Dhabi to Beijing, Cairo, New York JFK, Paris, São Paulo, and Sydney.

 
tetsabb
1012955.  Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:52 am Reply with quote

There is a difference between direct and non - stop -- they are not synonymous
Non -stop is what it says, so in the 80s, when Cathay Pacific started going Hong-Kong -- Gatwick in one hop, that was non- stop.
Their other flight continued to operate with a stop at Bahrain. That was still a direct flight.
I remember in my early days at Gatwick, doing PA calls for Air Lanka that went Frankfurt, Zurich, Dubai, Colombo. Still a direct flight. In 2000 my Better Half and I flew non-stop LHR- Colombo.

 
Geography Guy
1013078.  Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:40 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
Howsabout Abu Dhabi, though? Dubai is Emirates' hub but Etihad's is Abu Dhabi, and it is possible to fly non-stop from Abu Dhabi to Beijing, Cairo, New York JFK, Paris, São Paulo, and Sydney.

Yes, that looks right. Didn't see the Abu Dhabi-Sao Paulo earlier on, thanks for that. So only 4 airports in the world that fly non-stop to the 6 continents?

tetsabb wrote:
There is a difference between direct and non - stop -- they are not synonymous

Thanks for clearing that up. I was referring to non-stop flights in this post so far. The spectacle of a direct, yet multi-stop flight is QI, though. I wonder what the longest direct flight is. Can anyone do better than London-Frankfurt-Zurich-Dubai-Colombo?

 
AlmondFacialBar
1013079.  Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:56 am Reply with quote

Is it just me or have more direct flights become non-stop with increased fuel efficiency? I remember going AMS-YVR in the Eighties still required a fuel stop in Calgary to manage that last hop across the Rockies, but it's non-stop now.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Awitt
1013080.  Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:12 am Reply with quote

My friend's flight went from Melb-Sydney-LA.

 
Geography Guy
1013087.  Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:21 am Reply with quote

Awitt wrote:
My friend's flight went from Melb-Sydney-LA.

Is that United Airlines? That route sounds familiar.
Regardless of airline, the flight's about 12,800 km (8,000 miles), while testabb's Gatwick-Colombo is only around 9,000 km. 12,800 km is the new one to beat (or see for yourself at http://www.travelhappy.com/route_map_emission_calculator.php#).

 
Peaseblossom
1022540.  Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:15 pm Reply with quote

If I may revive this thread on a more historical note, I recently came across this gem of long flights:

'To India and back in fifteen days! Such is the latest record achievement of British Civil Aviation.'

Yes, 15 days. This was as recently as 1929, as you can read in this lovely vintage pdf from a flight magazine archive: http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1929/1929%20-%200780.html?search=imperial%20india.

I should never complain about flight delays again.

 
Geography Guy
1022547.  Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:49 pm Reply with quote

85 years later, that wouldn't even qualify as an India-Britain route: it left from Karachi, which is now in Pakistan rather than India. In fact, it wouldn't even qualify as a full plane trip - the passengers had to disembark in Genoa, Italy and take a train to Basel, Switzerland.
All up, it took 54 hours of flying time to go from Karachi to Alexandria, Egypt, to Genoa, Italy, onwards to Britain. In the 21st century, Pakistan International flies non-stop from Karachi to Heathrow 3 times every week, lasting for around 8.5 hours: 6 times faster than the original flight, and 70 times faster than the 1929 15-day journey.

 
chrisboote
1022656.  Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:22 am Reply with quote

On a note related to the thread, if not the current discussion
I recently worked out that it is not only possible to work in Cape Town for a weekly commute back to the UK, but hugely preferable to trying the same thing in NYC

While LHR-CPT may be a ~12 hour flight, it's overnight, with at most 1 hour time difference. So one boards in CPT/LHR at ~20:00, goes to bed at about midnight, waked up at ~06:00 for breakfast, then arrives in LHR/CPT at ~07:00

LHR-JFK however, involves a daytime flight stretching a day by 5-7 hours, and the return journey compresses a night by the same amount - leaving one horribly jetlagged if you tried it for a few weeks

So if only my putative CPT client could pay me enough to make it worthwhile, I would SO do that 8-)

 
PDR
1022666.  Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:39 am Reply with quote

Kathleen Turner made a radio series with BBC Radio 4 a few years ago (VI Warshawski) for which she commuted from the USA - they did it by time-shifting the british cast and crew so that Kathleen could get off the flight, do a 2-4 day recording session and then return to the colonies without ever changing her personal clock from colonial time.

We've done similar things when doing urgent trials activies involving US suppliers (ie their teams went onto GMT working hours).

PDR

 

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