Is there anything worse when travelling than having to land for a fuel stopover on a long-haul flight?
However, the emergence of aircraft that can stay in the sky longer thanks to new designs and the use of lighter materials in their makeup means the day is getting ever closer when Australians will realise the possibility of non-stop flights from its east coast to Europe.
Only last year Emirates unveiled its plan for a 13,821 kilometres non-stop flight between Dubai and Panama and that service is due to start at the end of next month.
Within the next two weeks, Emirates will begin a daily Dubai-Auckland service – a 14,201 kilometre flight.
The arrival on the horizon of a new family of aircraft is set to mark a new epoch in long-distance air travel.
Within two years, Boeing will have developed its ultra long-range 777-8X, which will have a flying range of 17,600km.
By 2018, traveller.com.au reports that Airbus will roll out for Singapore Airlines its long range variant of its A350-900, easily within the 16,100km range of its long-legged Airbus.
Those developments are good news for Australians who up to now have had to endure broken journeys to Europe.
However, Perth to London – a distance of 14,470kms – comes clearly into the new range and is shorter than Singapore Airlines’ proposed Singapore-New York flights.
While previously there was no real enthusiasm shown for a non-stop Perth-London service, a similar proposal from cities on Australia’s east coast to Europe is expected to attract much higher interest.
Melbourne to London at 16,900kms and with Sydney-London even further in distance may still be a little unrealistic but Airbus and Boeing are willing to re-engineer their designs for those longer range demands.
Both Qantas and British Airways would be enthusiastic for a non-stop journey between east coast Australia and London. Having just one stop would save airlines money and raise the possibility of cheaper prices for passengers.