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Qantas Airways A record breaking repatriation flight has flown 15,020 kilometres

Qantas Airways A record breaking repatriation flight has flown 15,020 kilometres

A record breaking repatriation flight has flown 15,020 kilometres from Buenos Aires to Darwin and touched down after 17 hours and 25 minutes in the air.

Since March 2020 the airline has operated hundreds of charter and repatriation flights of behalf of the Australian Government to bring Australians home during the COVID19 pandemic, flying to 31 destinations overseas, including 19 that aren’t part of the airline’s regular network.

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QF14 carried 107 passengers and flew non-stop from Buenos Aires to Darwin. The flight was 522 kilometres further than the airlines regular scheduled non-stop Perth to London flights which took off in March 2018 before they were paused due to the closure of Australia’s international border.

Qantas has a history of setting and breaking records for long-haul flights. In 1989, a Qantas 747 delivery flight flew non-stop from London to Sydney in 20 hours and nine minutes.

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Qantas also operated two Project Sunrise research flights on a Boeing 787 from New York and London direct to Sydney in 2019 with a greatly reduced passenger load and a flying time of over 19 hours each.

The repatriation flight took off at 12.44pm local time in Buenos Aires, tracking south of Argentina, skirting the edge of Antarctica before crossing the Australian coast at 5.28pm (AEDT) and landing in Darwin at 6.39pm local time last night.

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The first ever non-stop Qantas flight between Buenos Aires and Darwin flew entirely in daylight with smooth conditions, experienced average head winds of up to 35 kilometres per hour and temperatures as low as -75 Celsius while flying over Antarctica.

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A team of flight planning analysts spent the past month conducting extensive route planning based on weather and wind conditions across the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica.

Captain Alex Passerini said Qantas has a proud history in pioneering ultra-long haul flights due to the geographical location of Australia to the rest of the world and this one was no exception.

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“Qantas has always stepped up to a challenge, especially when it comes to long-haul travel, and this flight is an excellent example of the capabilities and attention to detail of our flight planning team. There were some truly spectacular views as we tracked across Antarctica, which was an extra bonus for our passengers who were very glad to be coming home.”

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QF14 also marks the first time that a flight has landed in Darwin from every inhabited continent in one year, all operated by Qantas.

FAST FACTS:

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  • QF14 from Buenos Aires – Darwin took 17 hours and 25 minutes over a distance of 15,020km.
  • The flight was operated on a Boeing 787-9 registration VH-ZNH, named “Great Barrier Reef.”
  • A total of 107 passengers were on board, plus 4 pilots who were on rotation during the flight and a team of 17 cabin crew, engineering and ground staff.
  • The route departed Buenos Aires, flying over the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica before crossing the Australian coast near the Great Australian Bight and descending in Darwin.
  • The aircraft operated with a maximum fuel load of approx. 126,000 litres.

Qantas Orders more Dreamliners, sets date to farewell Jumbos.

He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

Aviation

Air India’s B747 Makes Its Final Journey, Waving Farewell to Fans

Air India's B747 Makes Its Final Journey, Waving Farewell to Fans

In a poignant moment marking the end of an era in aviation history, Air India’s iconic Boeing 747 aircraft, affectionately known as the ‘Queen of the Skies,’ embarked on its ultimate journey from Mumbai’s international airport.

The departure, bound for Plainfield, USA, where it will undergo dismantling and part-stripping under the ownership of American AerSale, signals the closure of a storied chapter for the airline.

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Once revered for transporting dignitaries ranging from prime ministers to presidents, the Boeing 747 has etched itself into aviation lore. Yet, as airlines worldwide pivot towards more contemporary and cost-effective aircraft, Air India’s decision to bid farewell to its remaining Boeing 747s reflects the pragmatic realities of today’s aviation landscape.

The sale of these majestic planes to AerSale represents a strategic move by Tata Group, Air India’s new custodian, towards optimizing operational efficiency and embracing modern industry standards. Out of the four aircraft sold, two will be repurposed into freighters, while the remaining pair will be meticulously disassembled to salvage valuable components.

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The final flight from Mumbai witnessed a touching tribute as pilots performed a traditional ‘Wing Wave,’ symbolizing the conclusion of the Boeing 747‘s distinguished service with Air India. This poignant gesture encapsulates the deep sentiment attached to the aircraft’s departure and its significant contribution to the airline’s legacy.

As the Boeing 747 embarks on its journey to Plainfield, USA, nostalgia permeates the air, evoking memories of its maiden flight on March 22, 1971. Over five decades, Air India operated a total of 25 Boeing 747s, each leaving an indelible mark on the annals of aviation history.

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Middle East

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus
Photo: Wikipedia

British Airways made its way back to Abu Dhabi, landing at Zayed International Airport. Following a four-year break in service, both crew and passengers were greeted with enthusiasm.

In the summer of 2024, British Airways plans to launch a daily route, utilising a Boeing 787-9, from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. The new route enhances ties between the UAE and the UK and expands  vast worldwide network, catering to passengers who may be visiting friends and family or travelling for business.

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Arriving in Abu Dhabi at 08.30+1, flight BA073 to Abu Dhabi leaves London Heathrow at 22.25. Departing at 10.10 and landing at London Heathrow at 15.20 is the inbound flight (BA072).

The chief executive officer and managing director of Abu Dhabi Airports, Elena Sorlini, stated: “We are delighted to welcome British Airways to Zayed International Airport. Their daily schedule is expected to improve connectivity and stimulate travel and business.” Visitors may experience the dynamic capital of the United Arab Emirates like never before at our brand-new, award-winning, state-of-the-art terminal, where they will be welcomed with the best kind of Emirati hospitality.”

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Flight schedule:

London Heathrow (LHR) to Zayed International (AUH)All times are local
 
SeasonFlight numberDeparting LHRArriving AUHFlight numberDeparting AUHArriving LHR
Summer ‘24BA7322:2508:30+1BA7210:1015:20
Winter ‘24BA7322:2509:30+1BA7211:1015:20

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Aviation

FAA investigation: Passenger seated in Captain’s seat inside cockpit at cruising altitude

FAA investigation: Passenger seated in Captain's seat inside cockpit at cruising altitude

A viral video capturing a startling moment aboard a United Airlines charter flight from Denver to Toronto has triggered a federal investigation.

The footage, initially shared on social media by Hensley Meulens, the hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies baseball team, depicts a member of the coaching staff seated in one of the pilot seats while the aircraft was in mid-flight.

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In his caption, Meulens expressed gratitude to the captain and first officer for allowing him this unusual experience. The video, filmed by another passenger, reveals the cockpit door open, and at one point, a third passenger briefly enters the flight deck. Alarmingly, during this time, the captain was absent from the cockpit.

Despite the flight being a private charter operated by United Airlines, company and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations strictly prohibit passengers from entering the cockpit during flight or leaving the flight deck unsecured.

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United Airlines swiftly responded, expressing deep concern over the incident. A spokesperson emphasized that the video depicted an unauthorized person in the flight deck at cruising altitude with the autopilot engaged, constituting a clear violation of safety and operational policies.

The FAA confirmed that it is actively investigating the incident, highlighting that unauthorized access to the flight deck during flight is a violation of federal regulations. The agency assured that it is taking the matter seriously and will conduct a thorough examination to ensure compliance with aviation safety standards.

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