lke2fly
Topic Author
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 3:47 am

Shortest Route To The Middle East

Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:26 am

My stupid question is why do Asian, Russian and Arabic Airliners fly east from Los Angeles (LAX) some over US states others up to Canada Newfoundland and over the Atlantic Ocean, down towards Europe then down towards there country. Its seams like a long route instead of heading west over the Pacific Ocean at least on the global map it looks shorter. I saw these routes being taken on FlightAware from LAX.
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Shortest Route To The Middle East

Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:12 am

Quoting lke2fly (Thread starter):
My stupid question is why do Asian, Russian and Arabic Airliners fly east from Los Angeles (LAX) some over US states others up to Canada Newfoundland and over the Atlantic Ocean, down towards Europe then down towards there country.

Which specifc destination are you thinking about? The shortest route for LAX-DXB is over the pole (east from LA):
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=lax-dxb


LAX-UUDD is similar:
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=lax-UUDD



LAX-ZBAA does go west:
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=lax-ZBAA
http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=lax-ZBAA&MS=wls&MR=900&MX=720x360&PM=*

But as soon as you get farther into Asia than about Mumbai, it's shorter to go east from LA:
http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=lax-VABB


Tom.
 
Fabo
Posts: 1150
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:30 am

RE: Shortest Route To The Middle East

Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:04 am

Also, winds may play a role. See here how SIN-EWR-SIN is/was flown eastbound both ways, because of winds.

http://www.gcmap.com/featured/20120121
The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19287
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Shortest Route To The Middle East

Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:10 pm

Winds play a big factor. Routes can vary widely from day to day depending on the location of the jetstream. Distance isn't the only consideration. It often makes sense to fly a significantly longer route if it benefits from strong tailwinds. That's why many flights from the east coast of North America to Asia use the shortest polar routings westbound, almost overflying the North Pole, but on the eastbound trip they take the traditional transpacific route near Japan and Alaska.
 
113312
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:09 am

RE: Shortest Route To The Middle East

Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:36 pm

Winds, temps, ETOPS divert routes, engine out drift down, and other factors contribute to routing.
 
lke2fly
Topic Author
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 3:47 am

RE: Shortest Route To The Middle East

Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:10 am

Thank you very much to all of you that replied. I now understand how airline routes work. I was just a little confused but you all cleared it up. Thank you

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