The flight repatriated 107 Australians and set two Qantas information within the course of: longest distance lined (15,020 km or 9,333 miles) and longest time within the air for a industrial flight (17 hours and 25 minutes). Earlier than the pandemic, Qantas’ longest direct passenger flight related London and Perth, which got here in at a “mere” 14,498 km (9,009 miles) and 16 hours and 45 minutes.
“Qantas has all the time stepped as much as a problem, particularly in relation to long-haul journey, and this flight is a wonderful instance of the capabilities and a spotlight to element of our flight planning workforce,” Captain Alex Passerini, one of many 4 pilots who helmed the plane, mentioned in an announcement.
He notes another further achievement: “There have been some really spectacular views as we tracked throughout Antarctica.”
The flight, QF14, was on a Boeing 787-9 named “Nice Barrier Reef.”
The airplane left Argentina at 12:44 pm native time on Tuesday, October 5, then flew south, crossed Antarctica, and arrived in Darwin at 6:39 pm native time on Wednesday, October 6. The journey was fully in daylight.
The flight from the capital of Argentina to the Northern Territory of Australia will not be the one one to set a file due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Individuals on board QF14 have been in a position to expertise scenic views of Antarctica.
Usually, that route goes over the US and features a stopover in Los Angeles. As a result of US aviation laws require vacationers transiting by way of the nation to undergo American customs, the strict coronavirus protocols meant that it was an excessive amount of trouble for the airplane to cease.
As a substitute, Air Tahiti Nui opted to have the flight push straight by means of, clocking in at about 16 hours within the sky.
Nonetheless, aviation geeks who would possibly wish to participate within the flight themselves will seemingly be out of luck. A consultant for Air Tahiti Nui instructed CNN that the direct route “was operated on an distinctive foundation.”
A Qantas-operated’ “flight to nowhere” provided up-close views of a uncommon celestial occasion: a lunar eclipse and supermoon.
The flight wasn’t listed as a typical fare, although — it was a particular experiment designed to see how people would possibly bodily address spending such a protracted period of time within the sky.
A crew of “guinea pigs,” together with scientists and pilots, took half within the venture. However since there have been no paying passengers on board, the Challenge Dawn journey was ineligible for the “longest flight” file.
CNN’s Francesca Road contributed to this report.