Airlines are constantly tweaking their schedules, trying to find profitable new routes or pulling the plug on ones that have underperformed. Airports and communities also court these new services.
There are dozens of changes to airline routes each month. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting from the past month.
Finally, a direct flight from Europe to Australia. Just 17 hours
Qantas says it will launch non-stop service between Australia and Europe with a route that would immediately become one of the world’s longest regularly scheduled passenger flights.
Qantas revealed plans for the route Dec. 11, saying it would start flying non-stop between Perth and London Heathrow in March 2018. The carrier will use its new long-range Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliners” to fly the route, which Qantas says will be “the first regular passenger service to directly link Australia with Europe.”
Qantas touts the planned 17-hour, 9,010-mile route as one that will become the world’s third-longest.
Currently, Emirates’ 8,819-mile flight between Dubai and Auckland, New Zealand, is the world’s longest while Qantas’ 8,576-mile Dallas/Fort Worth-Sydney route comes in at No. 2, according to data provided to USA TODAY by airline data provider OAG. Both those routes will be overtaken in early 2017 once Qatar Airways launches its 9,030-mile non-stop route between Auckland and its hub in Doha.