The landscape of aviation has evolved faster than any other industry. Aviation has come a long way since 1943, when Qantas operated the world's longest commercial flight with a weekly service between Perth and Colombo. The duration of the flight was 28-32 hours, and seated three passengers on a tiny Catalina aircraft travelling at 200km/h. Now with a minimum 1 hour flight with minimum 40 seats speak a lot about its long journey.
Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer for Wego, world's largest travel search site talks about some interesting facts about the changing landscape, the world's longest flight routes, and which airlines are changing the game.
Singapore Airlines holds the record for longest flight for its 100 passenger, all business class service from Singapore to Newark, a distance of 15,329 km.
"However, when Singapore Airlines cancelled that flight in 2013, the record returned to Qantas with their Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth service, a distance of 13,804 km, and a duration of 16 hours, 55 minutes," said Dean Wicks, Chief Flights Officer for Wego, world's largest travel search site.
Emirates will become the new record holder for longest flight duration shortly, from Dubai to Panama City flying a total of 17 hours, 35 minutes. That's 13,821 kms on Emirates Boeing 777-200LR aircraft.
This year, the aviation landscape is about to change yet again with a lot of new records, thanks on the most part to Middle Eastern carriers, according to Wicks.
"The rapid pace in which Middle East carriers launch new routes and continue to grow, purchasing larger fleets of wide body aircraft in huge numbers, is establishing the region as the new world aviation superhub," Wicks added.
"The new Emirates service places Qantas back to second, but it will be interesting to see how long they retains that position, as the Australian national carrier has already expressed their intentions to operate a direct Perth to London service, a distance of 14,000 kms, when they receive their 787-900 in 2017."
"Of the top eleven longest flights in the world, eight are serviced by Middle Eastern carriers; Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Saudia," Wicks continued.
"The MENA region continues to display its commitment to the travel industry with impressive fleet additions, and new and renovated airport investments. Istanbul's new airport, slated to open in 2018, potentially could launch 200 new routes to over 150 destinations," said Wicks.
Dubai will also exceed London's Heathrow Airport lead of number of international passengers, and become the world's busiest international airport, and in anticipation of Iran's return to the international scene, the country just days ago placed an order for 114 aircraft from Airbus.
According to statistics, 2016 will see 1,100 new services scheduled from 170 airlines the world over, he said.
"Competition in aviation has never been so fierce and the Middle East region is stepping up to be a leading contender."
"New aircraft, services and airports, coupled with intense competition and further drops in the oil costs, equates to greater choice and airfares for the traveller, no matter where they're located or what destination they're travelling to," Wicks said in conclusion.
2016 is promising to be a big year in the aviation industry, and a great time to travel.
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