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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Joy! 20-hour flights!

    ..what we've all been waiting for, another Holy Grail:

    Both Airbus and Boeing now offer aircraft that appear capable of flying non-stop commercial flights from Sydney to London - the "Holy Grail" for Australian carrier Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX).
    As long as oil prices don't go much higher than around $70 per barrel, the 20-hour flight can be financially viable, and could be on schedules within five years, aviation experts say.

    Airbus has increased the range of its A350-900ULR to 9,700 nautical miles (17,960 kms) from the 8,700 nautical miles announced when it sold the plane to Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI) in 2015 for delivery next year, a spokesman told Reuters. Including headwinds, the Sydney-London flight is equivalent to 9,600 nautical miles.

    "These aircraft, we think, are potentially real goers on these routes," Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told Reuters of the A350-900ULR and the bigger but less advanced Boeing 777-8. "You know from what they have done on other aircraft that Sydney-London and Melbourne-London has real possibility."

    For Qantas, a non-stop Sydney-London route that cuts three hours off the flight time would allow it to charge a premium and differentiate its product from the around two dozen other airlines plying the so-called Kangaroo route with stop-offs in Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong.

    The route accounts for only 13 percent of Qantas' international capacity, but carries the prestige QF1 flight number and is important to its global brand.

    Qantas could charge around a 20 percent price premium for a non-stop Sydney-London flight as it would attract business and premium leisure travelers wanting to complete the trip as fast as possible, said Rico Merkert, a professor specializing in transport at the University of Sydney's business school.

    "It's something that can be presented as a unique selling point for Qantas," he said.

    FUELLING DOUBTS

    Qantas begins non-stop flights from Perth to London next year, using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. For this scheduled flight, the Dreamliner will have fewer seats than usual, will use the most advanced flight path modeling methods, and will reduce the weight in areas seemingly as minor as the dishes and forks.

    The Perth flight will take 17 hours - a far cry from the four days and seven stops it took when Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947.

    Qantas can offset the higher cost of carrying more fuel to complete the flight by saving on stopover costs, such as airport charges, ground handling, taxes, crew hotel rooms and lounge usage.

    "In terms of economics, much depends on fuel prices," said Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia. "If they stay at $50 a barrel or less, it should be possible to keep costs reasonable. But as fuel goes up, the disadvantages of flying a very heavy plane begin to make ultra-long haul problematic."

    He said the flight should remain economic at prices below around $70 a barrel, though Leeham Co analyst Bjorn Fehrm said the actual level could be far higher as one-stop rivals would also be squeezed by higher oil prices.

    Singapore Airlines ended its New York and Los Angeles flights using the four-engined A340-500 in 2013 when oil prices topped $107 a barrel. The carrier is now waiting for delivery of the far more fuel-efficient twin-engined A350-900ULR next year.

    Qantas is pushing the planemakers hard on a stretch goal of completing the Sydney-London flight with 300 seats to give it the highest possible revenue and fleet flexibility.

    However, Fehrm said the aircraft would likely fall short of that goal if Qantas wanted to avoid a fuel stop on the westbound leg when headwinds are strongest. If such stopovers became frequent enough, Qantas would lose its ability to charge a premium on the route.

    Two aviation industry sources said the Airbus A350-900ULR would fit more than 250 passengers on the Sydney-London route, up from the 170 mainly business-class seats on Singapore Airlines' configuration for flights to New York and Los Angeles.

    Boeing's 777-8, due to enter service early in the next decade, could carry around 280 passengers on the westbound leg of the Sydney-London flight, the sources said. The sources declined to be named because the configuration details are not finalised. Airbus and Boeing declined to comment specifically on the seat count.

    "We think our airplane has the legs and the capability," said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Senior Vice President Sales Asia-Pacific and India. "If the 787-9 can do Perth-London, we think that when the 777-8 comes out in the 2021 timeframe we will have a lot more improvement in technology."

    Airbus, Boeing and engine manufacturers are constantly investing to reduce fuel usage, extending a plane's range and its ability to perform in hot conditions like the Middle East.

    That means the planemakers don't have to invest specifically for any Qantas order, the size of which is still unclear.

    Pushing the seat count towards 300 would also give Qantas the flexibility to use these aircraft on other long routes, such as a mooted Sydney-New York flight, as it looks to replace six ageing 747-400ER planes and eventually its fleet of 12 A380s.

    Qantas' Joyce has raised publicly the possibility of ordering the 777-8 for ultra-long haul flights for the last two years, but the A350-900ULR has entered the equation more recently.

    "It has added competition, and we would be crazy if we didn't do a competition at the right time," Joyce said. "That gets you the best pricing and ... the most capable aircraft."

    Qantas has yet to launch a formal tender process for the prestige order, as it waits for Boeing to finalize the specifications on the 777-8. But the first Sydney-London flights are possible around 2022, Joyce said.

    "The Kangaroo route is probably the most competitive on the globe," Joyce said. "(Flying non-stop) takes us off this superhighway of very competitive conditions of capacity which is priced, in many cases, under costs."

    Airbus, Boeing close in on Qantas' ultra-long haul dream
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    people I work with take their r&r back to canada - 40 hours of travel each way every 2 months

    even my current 18 hours pales compared to them , but I am getting sick of the constant flying since the company cut costs by cutting biz class

  3. #3
    Excitable Boy
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    It would be great if Thai (or any other airline) would bring back the non-stop BKK-JFK flight (it ended about ten years ago)- that was the best and fastest way to get to the East Coast from LOS

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...^took that flight twice before abandoning flights to the east coast forever...on any airline...

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldrick
    people I work with take their r&r back to canada - 40 hours of travel each way every 2 months

    even my current 18 hours pales compared to them , but I am getting sick of the constant flying since the company cut costs by cutting biz class
    Yeah same to my area in the states. That was the main reason for me originally moving to Thailand. Well, SEA anyway. The travel was WAY too much.

    At one point I was 1 job promotion away from being high enough in the chain to be in Biz Class when traveling. That shit takes all the suck out of flying. Now Im above that position and it seems like every time I get a promotion, that 'level' recently had that perk removed.

    Its bullshit.

  6. #6
    Member Geezy's Avatar
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    Hell ... in the air.

    13 hours from Asia back home is horrible.

    Could be doable if I had plenty of muscle relaxants, a bottle of good liquor, some quality sedatives, and a proper lie-flat bed.

    And was greeted at the airport by Jeeves, and whisked away to a Sheraton in a Maybach for a day or two of sleep and more of the above.

    Edit: and oily massages, complimentary BJs, and steaming hot showers. On the ground and in the air.
    Last edited by Geezy; 06-04-2017 at 09:41 AM.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...^I think Trump Air has gone bankrupt...

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slick View Post
    That shit takes all the suck out of flying.
    Quote Originally Posted by Geezy View Post
    a proper lie-flat bed
    Our last pond skip was Philly - Doha.

    At boarding, the Qatar rep asked for our boarding passes, tore them in half and gave us Row 4, center without saying a word.

    When we got on, the wife is like: "Can this be right?"

    Me: "Don't say a word, just sit down."

    That bed. Oh maaannn...that bed. Woke up refreshed, actually.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat
    As long as oil prices don't go much higher than around $70 per barrel, the 20-hour flight can be financially viable
    I'm no expert on these matters but wouldn't a non-stop flight (to anywhere, of whatever duration) always be more efficient than a flight with stop-overs?
    No in between airport fees, wasted fuel landing and taking off, longer overall man hours, etc.
    If so, then if oil prices would inhibit the long haul flights, then surely all flights would not be viable.
    ?

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
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    No expert here but Australia to London non stop? So from Sydney to Perth then Perth to London. That sounds logical to combine the two services. If Perth stop is expensive thn that can be offset by the Perth bound customers?

  11. #11
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    Not profitable for airlines to fly lengthy non-stop flights.
    They just break even [if that] with passenger service, yet are quite profitable procuring cargo, mail, etc.....hence, the numerous stopovers/layovers of direct [the industry term] flights.

    Added, that nearly all commercial airlines are subsidized by government by one fashion or another, a win-win for them.

    The airlines and associated manufacturers are not your friends nor extended family.
    Any such novelty of half-way-around-the-world non-stop flights is a bit of a lark and more of technological promotion, less realistically profitable for them.

    Wake the fuck up, people.
    Stop falling over your blatant naivete.

  12. #12
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    I've done long haul between the UK and Japan; UK and China; UK and Thailand; that's long enough; I came to the conclusion that after 5 hours I've had enough, so I'd rather do the journey in two or three flights now - which as Jeff says, may be more profitable for airlines.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQVmkDUkZT4

    we are all figments of our own imagination.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
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    I might just the antipodeans feeling remote?

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo
    I've done long haul between the UK and Japan; UK and China; UK and Thailand; that's long enough; I came to the conclusion that after 5 hours I've had enough, so I'd rather do the journey in two or three flights now - which as Jeff says, may be more profitable for airlines.
    __________________
    You better not fly across the Pacific then. Even from Tokyo to SFO its a minimum of 8.5 hours with a good tailwind. Flights from HKG/TPE are 11+ no way to get it down to 5. 14 or 15 hour time change as well.

  15. #15
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    Tokyo to Honolulu = 6-7 hrs
    Apia to Honolulu = 5-6 hrs

    Honolulu to Frisco = 4-5 hrs

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo
    Tokyo to Honolulu = 6-7 hrs
    Apia to Honolulu = 5-6 hrs

    Honolulu to Frisco = 4-5 hrs
    Hope you have big bucks with that routing. I have checked into it. PAL used to do BKK/MNL/HNL/SFOorLAX. Long gone though. All flights now go way north to take advantage of the jet stream and save fuel.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo View Post
    Tokyo to Honolulu = 6-7 hrs
    Apia to Honolulu = 5-6 hrs

    Honolulu to Frisco = 4-5 hrs

    You're a better man than I if you find yourself wanting to be in Apia.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo View Post
    Tokyo to Honolulu = 6-7 hrs
    Apia to Honolulu = 5-6 hrs

    Honolulu to Frisco = 4-5 hrs

    You're a better man than I if you find yourself wanting to be in Apia.
    Must be many years since you've been there. Quite the tourist destination now.
    Great if you love tropical food, seafood, cheap beer.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo View Post
    Tokyo to Honolulu = 6-7 hrs
    Apia to Honolulu = 5-6 hrs

    Honolulu to Frisco = 4-5 hrs

    You're a better man than I if you find yourself wanting to be in Apia.
    Must be many years since you've been there. Quite the tourist destination now.
    Great if you love tropical food, seafood, cheap beer.
    Yeah....I'll admit it's been a while.
    But, still remains Samoan [the point].

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo View Post
    Tokyo to Honolulu = 6-7 hrs
    Apia to Honolulu = 5-6 hrs

    Honolulu to Frisco = 4-5 hrs

    You're a better man than I if you find yourself wanting to be in Apia.
    Must be many years since you've been there. Quite the tourist destination now.
    Great if you love tropical food, seafood, cheap beer.
    Yeah....I'll admit it's been a while.
    But, still remains Samoan [the point].
    You mean to say people don't find those 200 kg Samoan women attractive.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by FailSafe View Post
    It would be great if Thai (or any other airline) would bring back the non-stop BKK-JFK flight (it ended about ten years ago)- that was the best and fastest way to get to the East Coast from LOS
    Haven't seen you post for quite some time now. Where have you been?

    I stopped doing the non-stop 16 hour+ flights between LAX and BKK a few years ago. They are just too long, so I can't even imagine 20 hour flights unless they are 1st class. Sitting coach in a seat that long is definitely a health risk for DVT.

    https://www.stoptheclot.org/learn_mo...thrombosis.htm

  22. #22
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    20 hrs way to long for me even in biz class and can't justify paying first class so I will stick to my usual 3 stops. Roiet to bkk, bkk to Taipei, Taipei to LA. About 30 brs door to door. Not fun at all.

  23. #23
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    9700nm range; 9600 distance? No consideration of statutory reserves, traffic and weather holding, and unlikely flying westbound into jet stream winds. Alan may have to wait a while longer

  24. #24
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo View Post
    Tokyo to Honolulu = 6-7 hrs
    Apia to Honolulu = 5-6 hrs

    Honolulu to Frisco = 4-5 hrs

    You're a better man than I if you find yourself wanting to be in Apia.
    Must be many years since you've been there. Quite the tourist destination now.
    Great if you love tropical food, seafood, cheap beer.
    Yeah....I'll admit it's been a while.
    But, still remains Samoan [the point].
    Aren't you going off script Jeff? I thought you were all into that ethnic perspective shit... did some big Samoan mama give you a hiding or summat?

  25. #25
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aging one View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainNemo
    Tokyo to Honolulu = 6-7 hrs
    Apia to Honolulu = 5-6 hrs

    Honolulu to Frisco = 4-5 hrs
    Hope you have big bucks with that routing. I have checked into it. PAL used to do BKK/MNL/HNL/SFOorLAX. Long gone though. All flights now go way north to take advantage of the jet stream and save fuel.
    Why would I? It would be the long way round...
    I'm better off going UK->UAE->Thailand->UAE->UK, it's pretty cheap these days.
    The closest I've ever had to be to the USA is the mid-Atlantic (if the US consulate at Belfast doesn't count).

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