Qantas flies world’s first non-stop flight from Darwin, North Australia to London tonight- because of coronavirus – The Sun03/24/2020
BRITS desperate to return home from Australia are making history today as their Qantas flight from Sydney will now fly via Darwin – and complete the world’s first non-stop journey between Australia's Northern Territory and the UK.
Normally Qantas’ QF1 flight flies daily to Heathrow via Singapore but with the country denying all airlines any transit, the Australian carrier is making its first ever flight from Darwin direct.
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After a 90-minute refuel in Darwin, the historic flight in an Airbus A380 took off at 23:46 local time and is due to fly the 8,629miles in a mammoth 16 hours and 40 minutes, landing in Heathrow on Wednesday morning at 7am.
It is the first time a flight has ever flown direct from Darwin to the UK and comes as the Australian flag carrier desperately tries to fly Brits home before the airline grounds almost all of its planes at the end of the month, in a bid to halt the coronavirus pandemic.
From April it will run a limited number of services but dates are yet to be announced.
Onboard the plane are 20 customers with escorted tour operator Titan Travel.
The travellers were midway through a 30-day Grand Tour of Australia but the trip has been cut short following the UK government’s call for all British nationals to return home immediately.
It comes after Qantas made history in March 2018 with its first direct flight from Perth to London – a journey of 9,009 miles taking just over 17 hours.
We revealed the hell of flying non-stop for 17 hours from Australia in economy on the UK’s longest route.
The airline had plans to begin flights direct from Sydney to London within the next few years.
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In October last year the airline set the record for the longest-ever continuous flight – flying for 19 hours and 16 minutes from New York to Sydney with a special roster of 50 hand-picked passengers and crew who were monitored by special devices on the marathon flight.
Earlier today, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the House of Commons that the government was laying on special planes and reopening flight routes across the world to bring home Brits stranded by the coronavirus pandemic.
In New Zealand and Australia, the High Commission is working with airlines, airports and the New Zealand Government to keep flight routes open and reopen some that have closed.
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