Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed at Darwin (DRW), concluding the airline’s longest commercial flight after spending nearly 18 hours in the air.
The flight landed at 6:39 pm local time (9:09 GMT) at Darwin International Airport. It carried stranded Australians returning home from Buenos Aires (EZE) over 14,683 kilometers (9,124 miles).
Qantas used its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for the task, one of the few aircraft that can perform in such an ultra-long-haul role.
The flight, designated QF14, took off from Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport (EZE) at 12:44 pm local time (15:44 UTC) on October 5, 2021. It carried the passengers over a slice of the Atlantic Ocean, the southern tip of South America, along the coastline of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, before crossing the middle of Australia and landing at Darwin, located on the country’s northern coast.
Due to the length of the flight and the unusual route, for much of its duration QF14 was one of the most tracked flights on various flight tracking services, such as Flightradar24.
The journey was 185 kilometers (115 miles) longer than Perth (PER) to London (LHR) – Qantas’ previous longest commercial flight, which makes QF14 the longest commercial flight in the airline’s history.
However, it is significantly shorter than a couple of 20-hour-long test flights Qantas conducted in 2019 in preparation for the launch of Project Sunrise – the New York-Sydney route. The record-breaking flights were also conducted on a Boeing 787-9, but they did not carry paying passengers, making them not eligible to be considered as airline’s longest commercial flights.