Given the ubiquity of air travel nowadays, it can be easy to take it for granted. At its more extreme, however, it can be a remarkable feat of human endeavor. Qantas has today provided one such reminder with the launch of a non-stop A380 service between Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth.
The distance between the two airports is a huge 13,805 km (8,578 mi), just under 1,000 km (621 mi) shy of the A380's 14,800-km (9,196-mi) potential range. According to Qantas, this herculean distance makes it the longest route in the world, ahead of Johannesburg to Atlanta at 13,582 km (8,439 mi) and Dubai to Los Angeles at 13,420 km (8,339 mi). The airline lays claim to the longest non-stop delivery flight as well, between London and Sydney in 1989.
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It will take the A380 around 14 hours and 50 minutes to fly from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth and 15 hours and 30 minutes in the opposite direction. The aircraft can carry 484 passengers, more than any other aircraft, and will increase capacity on the route by 10 percent over the Boeing 747 that previously operated on the route. Qantas is the only carrier to offer a service on the route, on which it has carried over 300,000 passengers since 2011.
The A380, which first flew in 2005, carries 323,000 liters (85,328 US gal) of fuel, which Qantas likens to about the same amount as would fill eight backyard swimming pools. It is said to produce around 60 percent less carbon dioxide than the average family car, per passenger kilometer.
Qantas will operate the new A380 service six times per week beginning today.
The video below provides an introduction to the new service.