Qantas Airways is known for operating some of the world’s longest flights. The airline’s routes between Perth and London, and Dallas and Sydney clock in at over 17 hours, and span 14,449 kilometers and 13,804 kilometers, respectively. The airline has also tested flights between London and Sydney, and New York and Sydney that have over 18 hours of flight time.
But none of these flights compare to Qantas flight QF6017, which departed from Sydney, Australia on March 24, 2020 for Dresden, Germany. This flight, operated by a Qantas A380, clocked an astounding 19 hours and 15 minutes of flight time across over 16,000 kilometers!
Qantas QF6017, which was flown by VH-OQA, broke the airline’s own record for the world’s longest A380 flight. The previous record-holding flight flew on the same route in the opposite direction (Dresden to Sydney) on December 19, 2019, and clocked 18 hours and 26 minutes of flight time. Headwinds moving from west to east likely contributed to the longer flight time of QF6017.
The route between Sydney and Dresden isn’t on Qantas’ schedule, and neither flight held any passengers. Dresden Airport is an Airbus maintenance hub, and it’s likely that Qantas decided to send VH-OQA in for maintenance as it grounded most of its long haul fleet.
The future of Qantas’ A380 remains unclear. The airline announced plans to ground its A380 fleet for at least three years, and frankly it’s uncertain if we’ll see the Flying Kangaroo on an A380 commercial flight ever again.