WHEN the England cricket team travelled to play Australia in the first ever Test match in 1887, the journey down under took around 50 days by steamship. (The Aussies won, as they have mostly continued to do over the subsequent 129 years.) When the team flies out to compete in the latest installment of the Ashes next year, the journey time will be much reduced. If they fly from London to Perth on Qantas, they could conceivably do it in under 17 hours, nonstop.
The Australian flag carrier announced over the weekend that it is to launch a direct service from Western Australia to London. According to Forbes the 14,498-kilometre journey will slot in behind Air India’s Delhi to San Francisco route (15,140 kilometres) to become the second longest nonstop flight in the world—although the Qantas plane will in fact be in the air for two hours longer.
We don’t have to look back to the 19th century to see just how far things have improved. According to Alan Joyce, Qantas’s boss, when the carrier first created the so-called…Continue reading