Aircraft are stretching their legs. Lighter materials, new engines and ever more efficient designs mean the new generation aircraft that are about to enter our skies will fly further than ever before.
Which raises the question for Australian travellers, would it be possible to fly non-stop from our east coast to Europe?
Late in 2015, Emirates announced that it would operate a non-stop flight from Dubai to Panama City. At 13,821 kilometres, this would have been the world's longest flight, outstripping the current title-holder – Qantas' Sydney-Dallas flight – by 17 kilometres. Scheduled to begin on 1 February, the flight, the airline's first to Central America, has been pushed back to 31 March as it awaits regulatory codeshare approvals, according to an Emirates spokesperson.
In the meantime, Emirates has trumped itself with a daily Dubai-Auckland service scheduled to begin on 2 March. The distance between the two cities, 14,201 kilometres according to Great Circle Mapper, means this new service will shove the Dubai-Panama City flight into second place in the world's-longest-flight stakes before it even gets off the ground. The non-stop kiwi flight is probably an Emirates counter move designed to cut the wings off Middle East rival Qatar Airways, which has been hinting at plans for a non-stop flight between Auckland and its Doha base.
By Michael Gebicki. This article is a fragment originally published on traveller.com.au and can be read in full here.