Monday 21 February 2022

Darwin now has longest and shortest international flights

Darwin (DRW/YPDN), in Australia's Northern Territory, is staking a minor claim to fame, with the NT capital now hosting both the longest and shortest flights on the international Qantas network.

The shortest international flight is a quick 50-minute hop to Dili ((DIL/WPDL), the capital of East Timor. 
Qantas this week committed to up to five flights per week on its new Embraer E190 jets.

(ex US Airways / American Airlines)

Sporting both business class and economy cabins, the Darwin-based E-Jets will also connect the Top End with Alice Springs, Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns and Townsville.

And the longest flight? This is, of course, the 17-hour trek to London (LHR/EGLL), which runs twice daily – one from Sydney (SYD/YSSY)  and one from Melbourne (MEL/YMML) – on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.


Qantas chose Darwin as a temporary replacement for the respective Singapore and Perth stopovers of its Sydney-London and Melbourne-London Kangaroo Routes: the former due to Singapore’s ongoing transit restrictions, and the later due to Western Australia’s decision to keep its borders shut for an indefinite period .

“To streamline transit arrangements for passengers, Qantas will also continue to operate the Sydney to London flight via Darwin instead of through Singapore until June 2022,” the airline says.

This week also saw the return of Qantas' second-longest flight – the 15-hour journey from Sydney to Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW/KDFW) – which was the airline’s longest route when it launched in 2011, until the Perth-London service stole the crown in 2018.

But even longer flights lay ahead, with Qantas soon expected to give the go-ahead to its ambitious Project Sunrise plan for non-stop services from Sydney and Melbourne to the likes of New York, London and Paris to launch in 2024-2025.

Passengers will need to strap themselves in for a marathon of up to 20 hours, although these globe-striding Airbus A350-1000 jets will make the ride a lot more comfortable thanks to what Qantas CEO Alan Joyce described to Executive Traveller as all-new “super first class” suites and business class seats.

“Given the nature of the routes there is definitely a market for first class,” he said, adding “it will be the best product we’ve ever put on an aircraft.”

There will also be a fresh take on premium economy and a wider economy seat with a few extra inches of legroom, along with designated stretching areas in a cabin ‘designed for ultra-long haul’ flying.

“That’s all part of the proposition, this aircraft is going to be designed for 19-20 hour flights,” Joyce said.

Story sourced from here but with additions.

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