Australian Qantas line broke another record. Behind her is the longest commercial cruise in history. During the repatriation flight, the Boeing 787 covered more than 14,600 kilometers in less than 18 hours. Traveling from Argentina to Darwin, the passengers flew over Antarctica.
Qantas Dreamliner took off from Buenos Aires-Ezeiza airport shortly after 12:30 pm on Tuesday local time. To Darwin, in the middle of the North Coast Australia, arrived before 7pm local time, setting the record for the longest commercial flight Qantas has ever operated – known to set similar records.
Passengers spent almost 18 hours in the air – 17 hours and 26 minutes to be exact – and traveled 14,683 kilometers. It is reaching the maximum capabilities of this Boeing model – its range reaches 14,800 kilometers.
“This is a flight nearly 200 kilometers longer than the one from Perth to London, which is currently a Qantas record,” commented aviation analyst Bruce Dale before the Dreamliner landed in Darwin. The route he mentioned was served until the airline market collapsed due to the COVID-19 epidemic, which resulted in the suspension of most international connections in 2020.
The QF14 flight is also very significant for Darwin Airport itself, which has become Australia’s first airport – and one of the few in the world – to operate direct flights from all six permanently inhabited continents.
“This is an exclusive group that is inaccessible to the largest airports in the world” – noted ABC News journalists. These few airports include, among others Doha, Dubai, Johannesburg and London.
To Australia via Antarctica
Passengers aboard the Dreamliner had the opportunity to fly over the South Pole. The seemingly unusual route, however, is the most direct – due to the shape of the Earth – way of getting from the Argentine capital to Darwin.
“If you were to go straight across as we imagine on the map, it would probably add 30 to 40 percent of the extra distance,” explained Dale.
Passengers also had the best opportunity to enjoy the views, because the Boeing 787 has the largest windows of any passenger aircraft.
The connection between Buenos Aires and Darwin is not a regular service, but one of the repatriation flights that the Australian airline performs on behalf of the government. All for the purpose of bringing home their citizens. After landing, these people were in a 14-day quarantine.
The country is still not open to foreign tourists. The Australian government has introduced some of the toughest restrictions in the world due to the epidemic.
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