Unless you’re traveling in first or business class, and maybe even then, longer flights simply mean more discomfort. So while airlines take it as a point of pride that they operate long, longer, and longest flights, most flyers rightly treat long-flight boasts as more threat than promise.
The latest such claim comes from Qantas, which this week announced the upcoming launch, in March 2018, of nonstop flights between Perth, Australia, and London. The 14,498-kilometer flight will be the world’s longest, at 17 hours, and the first nonstop flight between Australia and Europe.
For some historical perspective, Qantas notes in its news release that when it first began flying between Australia and London, the so-called Kangaroo Route, the journey took four days and required nine stops.
The new flights will be operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with 236 seats.
Seats go on sale in April 2017.
The new Qantas flights may not qualify as the world’s longest for long. Singapore Airlines has signaled its intention to resume nonstop flights between the U.S. and Singapore some time in 2018, following receipt of its long-range A350 aircraft from Airbus. Flight times on the route would be 19 or more hours.
Impressive, if you’re an airline geek. Scary otherwise.
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.