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David Fickling

World’s Longest Flights Aren’t Meant for Cattle Class

Qantas’s services from Sydney to London and New York can only be profitable with plenty of passengers flying business.

Almost a day on one of these may not be as glamorous as Qantas makes it sound.

Almost a day on one of these may not be as glamorous as Qantas makes it sound.

Photographer: DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images

The question about Qantas Airways Ltd.’s plans to start 20-hour direct flights from Sydney to London and New York isn’t why any passenger would want to take the route — it’s why any carrier would want to offer them.

For all the hardship of spending a day cooped up with the body odors of a couple of hundred other humans, long-haul flying isn’t a particularly attractive business for airlines, either.