Qantas’ ultra-long haul dream, Part 2

By Bjorn Fehrm

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June 28, 2017, © Leeham Co.: It’s now time to continue our article on how Qantas could fly the coveted route Sydney-London direct.

Our first article aired the 25th of May. A knowledgeable Qantas person contacted us after the article. He explained there is a smarter way to plan Ultra-Long-Haul (ULR) flying than we assumed.

After an interesting dialogue, we can now continue the article series. Qantas taught us a trick or two how to fly ULR missions.

While there was nothing wrong in our route data from article one, there is a clever way to avoid the flight distance from escalating on windy days.


  • The direct distance Sydney-London is 9,200nm the shortest way.
  • On a windy day, this would extend to 10,000nm air distance when going West, if smarts aren’t used.
  • We now explain how an airline excelling in Ultra-Long-Haul flights over oceanic waters, caps the longest distances it has to fly.

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