Four hour flights to Israel?

April 24, 2012 by Henry Benjamin
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Alan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas, Australia’s national airline, has told a lunch hosted by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce that aircraft builders have no economic interest in producing planes which could fly to Israel within four hours from Australia.

Israeli Trade commissioner Ehud Gonen, Alan Joyce and AICC president Kim Jacobs pic: Henry Benjamin

Alan Joyce talks to Ross Greenwood pic: Henry Benjamin

Having discussed the safe arrival back in Australia of the A380 on which an engine blew up in November, 2010, the trials and tribulations of working through the strike which almost crippled the airline, the development of Jetstar as a low-cost airline in the Far East, the airline’s policy to maintain first class on certain routes and the suitable location of a second airport for Sydney, Joyce, who had been in conversation with Ross Greenwood, fielded the question from the audience as to the possibility of an aircraft making a four hour subsonic trip to Israel.

Joyce went into great depth about the current development in aircraft design focusing mainly on lower fuel and maintenance costs. Joyce said that many of the aircraft in the fleet have been re-equipped with the latest inflight entertainments systems and can see that it will not be too long before  Internet access will be available on board together with the opportunity of passengers using their own iPads to access personal data and entertainment.

Dealing with the latest technology, the subject turned to speed. Joyce said that if it were possible to fly to London in six hours “we would possibly order twenty aircraft” to add to the Qantas fleet capable of the range. Joyce explained that that high speed supersonic aircraft would”not work across the Atlantic” and on all short haul routes. He explained that the aircraft manufacturers wanted to design planes that could secure “hundreds of sales…not twenty or thirty”.

So for a quick fix with family, friends or business colleagues in Israel it is back to Skype and for a physical visit to the Holy Land there is no improvement in sight over the traditional journey.


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