Qantas plans world’s longest commercial flight
Read the article to find out how long a direct flight from Sydney to London will take.
Australian airline company Qantas has announced plans for a nonstop flight from Sydney to London. If successful, it would be the longest commercial flight route in history.
Qantas first started offering flights from Sydney to London in 1974. It originally took four days and required several connections. Current flights from Sydney to London take over 22 hours and require at least one connecting flight.
The flight from Sydney to London would be over 17,000 km and take more than 20 hours. The Australian airline wants the flights to begin by 2022. However, right now there are no planes that can travel such a long distance without stopping to refuel. Qantas announced its plans because they want Boeing and Airbus, two of the largest aircraft manufacturers, to produce planes that can fly that far.
The plans for the flight route were announced by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. He made the announcement as a public “challenge” to Airbus and Boeing. Both companies have new extra-long range planes in development. Next year Airbus will release its A350. Boeing is currently working on its 777X plane. It should come out sometime in 2020. While both planes will be able to fly longer than any previous plane, they still wouldn’t be able to make the 20 hour flight from Sydney to London. That is why Joyce issued his challenge.
Qantas will begin offering flights from Perth to London later this year. That flight will take 17 hours. A flight that long is very difficult. The plane has to weigh less than other planes, and it has to use a special flight path to save fuel. A flight from Sydney to London would face many of the same problems.
In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, analyst Richard Aboulafia said that the flight can only succeed if fuel prices are low. “If they stay at $50 USD (about ¥5,500) a barrel or less, it should be possible to keep costs reasonable. But as fuel goes up, the disadvantages of flying a very heavy plane begin to make ultra-long haul problematic” he said.
Aboulafia added that the flight should be able to make money, even if the price of oil goes up to $70 (about ¥7,700) a barrel.
Boeing released a statement in response to the challenge, but didn’t say if its new planes will be able to make the flight, saying, “Boeing continues to work with our customers to understand their fleet requirements and market demands.” Boeing stated that it is attempting to make the most efficient large plane possible with the 777X.
However, Airbus released a statement that suggested they could meet Qantas’ challenge, saying, “We’ll have the A350-900 ULR in service next year for ultra-long range flights of up to 20 hours. We’ll look forward to working with Qantas to see how we can meet its requirements for Sydney-London non-stop.”
Qantas started flying from Sydney to London in 1974. The first planes that flew from Sydney to London took four days. Passengers had to change planes many times. Flying from Sydney to London now takes over 22 hours. Passengers need to change planes at least once.
The flight from Sydney to London would be over 17,000 km and take more than 20 hours. Qantas wants planes that can fly from Sydney to London by 2022. However, right now there are no planes that can travel such a long distance without stopping to get more fuel. Qantas announced its plans because they want Boeing and Airbus to make planes that can fly that far. Boeing and Airbus are two of the biggest companies that make planes.
Both Boeing and Airbus companies are now working on new extra-long range planes. Next year Airbus will release its A350 plane. Boeing is working on its 777X plane. The Boeing 777x plane should come out sometime in 2020. The Boeing and Airbus planes will be able to fly longer than any other plane. The planes still won’t be able to fly from Sydney to London. Qantas wants the Boeing and Airbus to change the planes, so they can make the long flight.
Qantas planes will start flying from Perth to London later this year. Flying from Perth to London will take 17 hours. Flying that long is very difficult. The plane has to be lighter than other planes. The plane has to fly a special route to save fuel. Flying from Sydney to London would have many of the same problems.
The Sydney Morning Herald interviewed analyst Richard Aboulafia. Aboulafia told the Sydney Morning Herald that planes flying from Sydney to London can only make money if fuel prices are low. Aboulafia said, “If they stay at $50 USD (about ¥5,500) a barrel or less, it should be possible to keep costs reasonable”.
Aboulafia added that planes flying from Sydney to London should be able to make money, even if the price of oil goes up to $70 (about ¥7,700) a barrel.
Boeing didn’t say if its new planes will be able to fly from Sydney to London. Boeing said that the 777X plane would fly as far as possible.
Airbus said that its A350-900 ULR plane will be in service next year, and it will be able to fly up to 20 hours. Airbus wants to work with Qantas and try to meet their needs.
commercial flight route 旅客便の航空路
例：Her family is originally from Italy.
connecting flight 乗り継ぎ便
come out 世に出る（運航を開始する）
使いこなす句動詞 “come out”
issue a challenge （人）に挑戦する
例：He issued a challenge to everyone: “Try to beat me at chess”.
例：My suitcase weighed too much. They charged me extra to check it.
例：That restaurant has really good food and the prices are reasonable.
go up 値上がりする
使いこなす句動詞 “go up”
例：I attempted to get back in touch with my childhood friend.