Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 10 years ago

why are airline companies not introducing a non-stop flight from western europe to western Australia?

I mean, I just checked, the length of i.e. Frankfurt-Sydney is around 9050 n.m. (not just from A to B, but with airways and SID/STAR) . The max. range of the B777-200LR is about 9380 n.m. So, this would work (also with enough fuel for alternates etc.) If you have now a constant tailwind of around 20 knots during the whole trip, the length wouldn't even be 9050 n.m. (so more like 8500 n.m.). So, this would perfectly work, right? Why doesn't Lufthansa or Qantas not introduce this? (OK, I know that for the way back (Sydney-Europe) you would have to make probably a stop-over, if you consider that now you have a constant headwind of around 20 kts)!

But at least, you can fly to Australia non-stop, in about 17,5 hrs.....


I'm sorry, I meant of course flights to eastern australia (Sydney, Melbourne etc...)

Update 2:

to 1.: well I know, but I have calculated on weather charts at FL350, and the average wind would be a tailwind of around 20 kts for this day..

2.: hm, I didn't know that china doesn't want that you fly over their western parts...why?

3.: B777-200LR has 9380 n.m. max. range.. so I think this should work, even with alternates (besides, when you fly with a constant TAS and an average tailwind of 20 kts, your "distance isn't that long"...

4.: yeah, there you re right. In this case you'd make a refueling stop, as is even the case for some flights (i.e. frankfurt-tenerife has to stop sometimes in sevilla (B757-300), due to strong headwinds...

5.: good point, but well, singapore flies 19:10 hrs flights (ok, all business class), but Delta flies Johannesburg-Atlanta in 16:40 hrs, and they are always full)... so, 3-4 hrs more, i I guess this would be possible...

6.: yeah sure, the distance remains the same^^

3 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is not necessary. And, I would hate to be on an aircraft for that long myself. The 10-11 hour flight between Germany and the US has an extreme amount of suckage.

  • Mike D
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    I took a look at the Boeing website and it had the range globe, The London to Sydney Route is literally just in range. I don't think it's in range enough where they could schedule an everyday flight. Some of your assumptions were based upon the weather being right for every trip. I believe on an International Flight that you need an additional 90 minutes of fuel on board for some sort of insurance. If the London to Sydney Flight was delayed because of fog at Sydney or a Tropical Storm, the flight would probably be diverted to Canberra or Brisbane - I know the plane wouldn't have enough fuel to get to Brisbane if they were already circling Sydney. With more composites being built for airplanes and increased engine efficiency, I suspect in the next 7 to 10 years, that the London to Sydney Route will come into play.

    I have to say, I was surprised that Airbus' first family of A380's didn't fulfill that need. With sheer size of the plane, you would think there there would be enough space for the extra fuel - but the you have to take that up with the extra Weight. It will be interesting if the new Boeing Dreamliner becomes the plane to take care of the London - Sydney Route.

    Lastly, there economics of the route. Having Singapore right along the route of Sydney and Singapore pretty much guarantees that the planes will be full since the London to Singapore is a busy route and Singapore to Sydney is just as busy - lots of business going to between the Australians and that part of the world. Also, you have to keep 2 crews for those long hauls - not just pilots but flight attendents - per the rules dictated by the IATA. Also, you have to get the right wieght which includes the number of passenger/baggage/potable water/extra crews quarters/etc for a 24 hour flight.

    I do think it will be done once the technology comes up. I don't know if another European City would want a direct flight to Sydney - remember it has to be make economic sense. If you look at the Boeing website, it mentioned the London to Perth possibilty. The 747ER had the range to do it but is there enough people to fill the route to make it worth while. I mean if you took a 25 hour flight from London to Perth - you still have to take about a 4 hour flight from Perth to Sydney. If you went through Singapore instead - you would save about 6 hours on the today journey (and having made the journey to Australia for the US - that's a big difference. Lets face it, it's not a lot of fun being on a plane for 24 hours - back in the early 90's when I flew a 767 down - our entertainment was limited (ended up drinking a lot on the way back from Brisbane to Honolulu - that actaully wasn't "a killer" - only 9 to 9 1/2 hours.

    Source(s): Plane Geek
  • Dan B
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    1. The winds aloft at 35,000 ft are considerably more than 20 kts. Closer to 80-120 kts. And they are not always tailwinds.

    2. The direct, shortest flight route (8900 nautical miles - Frankfurt to Sydney) would take airliners over China, Kazakhstan. China has issues with airliners flying over western parts of their country.

    3. The max range of the airliners is just about the 8900 nm distance - no room for alternates provided.

    4. Headwinds in the northern hemisphere might translate into tailwinds in the southern hemisphere, and vice-versa. A flight that is possible yesterday may not be possible today.

    5. There may not be enough demand to fill a long range airliner for such a trip as there would be for a Europe to US flight.

    6. Headwinds/tailwinds do not affect the length of the flight, just the time it takes to make the flight.

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