Qantas announces historic non-stop repatriation flight from Buenos Aires – MercoPress


Qantas announces historic non-stop repatriation flight from Buenos Aires

Thursday, September 23, 2021 – 09:00 UTC

The 18-hour flight to Darwin will focus on masks, PPE and social distancing rather than premium services.

Australian airline Qantas is planning a historic non-stop repatriation flight from Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport across the South Pole aboard a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, it has been announced.

The reason for choosing Darwin and not Sydney. Melbourne or any other major city in the country is that the Australian government has a facility there for passengers to observe a mandatory 14-day supervised quarantine.

The aircraft chosen for the operation could accommodate up to 236 passengers.

The distance between Buenos Aires and Darwin is 14,683 kilometers (9,124 miles), which implies a record for the Australian company in flights operated with Boeing 787. Currently, its longest route with these planes is Perth – London Heathrow, just over 9,000 miles.

Flight QF 014 is scheduled to depart Buenos Aires (EZE) at 12:25 p.m. on October 5 and arrive in Darwin (DRW) at 6:45 p.m. local time the next day.

Darwin International Airport is the busiest in the Northern Territory and 10th in Australia. It is the only aerial station in the city. The airport is located in the northern suburb of Darwin, 8 km from the city center, in Eaton.

In October 2019, Qantas flew from Sydney to New York, a historic event for commercial aviation that connected the two cities non-stop for the first time. The flight duration was 19 hours and 16 minutes. In November of the same year, a special flight between London and Sydney also took place.

While 9,124 miles is not in itself a feat for a long-haul specialist like Qantas, the operation between Buenos Aires and Darwin will remain an important event, in terms of distance, flight time and connection for the first. and probably the only time. time between the two cities.

The flight is one of a series of repatriation services on behalf of the Australian government. Qantas recently stepped up the pace of those flights, saying it will perform 90 repatriation flights in 90 days. The flight from Buenos Aires is one of them.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), which organizes and underwrites repatriation flights, has announced that more than 55,000 Australians have returned since the start of the pandemic, including more than 26,800 people on around 180 flights from government-facilitated repatriation like this, which will bring passengers to the large government quarantine camp just outside the city in northern Australia.

Qantas has made two attempts to operate scheduled flights to Buenos Aires. Qantas first flew there between 1998 and 2002 and again in 2008 via Auckland. Qantas ended these flights in 2012 when it moved its South American port to Santiago. At the time, Qantas argued that Santiago made a more strategic sense. But due to COVID-19, Qantas has not flown to Santiago since March 2020 and there is still no confirmed date to resume service.

The departure from Qantas has left Aerolineas Argentinas the only airline to operate non-stop flights between Sydney and Buenos Aires. But Aerolineas Argentinas abandoned the route in 2014. Aerolineas Argentinas had been flying between the two cities for years. However, the airline only went non-stop in 2012, hoping to benefit from Qantas’ exit.

Regardless, the 18-hour flight to Darwin will focus on masks, PPE and social distancing rather than premium services.

Qantas has made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory by November 15 for people in contact with passengers and by the end of March 2022 for administrative staff. The company plans to resume flights to countries with high vaccination rates such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Fiji as soon as possible.

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