News article on the flight;
Long range passenger jet lands in Sydney
Source: SYDNEY AAP
Date: 2003-Dec-02 07:09 PM
The world's longest-range passenger aircraft - engineered for flights of up to 19 hours - touched down in Sydney.
The 14-hour nonstop journey from Dubai to Sydney was the world's first commercial flight of an Airbus A340-500, capable of flying 16,000 kilometres in one haul.
Until now Dubai-based international airline Emirates, which owns the plane, has had to fly to Sydney via Singapore.
The airline will now begin a daily nonstop service between Sydney and Dubai.
The new aircraft features atmospheric effects to minimise jet lag by simulating dawn and sunset, including stars on the ceiling panels at night and birdsong in the "morning".
First class passengers are able to take advantage of enclosed suites with beds, incorporating a vibrating massage system, a mini-bar and "room service".
About 200 guests from the business, media and travel industries were treated to brief demonstration flights above Sydney and Canberra.
Emirates Airlines president Tim Clark said the A340-500, which carries up to 258 passengers, meant people leaving Sydney at 10pm could be in Casablanca or Nairobi by midday the next day.
"The aeroplane has got enormous legs," Mr Clark said at Sydney Airport.
"It's something we've been dreaming abut for years, to be able to cut across the continents and deliver the non-stop product."
With three A340-500s in the stable and six more on order, the company is lobbying the federal government to allow it to make two daily return flights to Sydney.
By Adam Joyce