What would the ultimate airline experience look like?
An airline with the best food, service and seats in the world? Traveller.com.au's writers name what their dream plane would feature.
As you sink deep into your window seat in anticipation of jetting off somewhere exotic, spare a thought for your poor plane (and the flight attendants serving you drinks).
It is entirely likely the aircraft you are on has already flown that day, perhaps as many as three or four times, and that week has already spent hours and hours in the air covering tens of thousands of kilometres. Your special trip is a drop in the ocean.
In an effort to understand the extraordinary workload the average Boeing or Airbus handles over the course of its lifetime, we used data from FlightRadar24.com to chart an average week in the life of a passenger jet – and the figures are remarkable.
Selecting five aircraft from five different airlines, covering a blend of long and short haul, we calculated that those five planes, over just seven days, flew a total of 314,697km - the equivalent of around the world nearly eight times.
See below for a breakdown of the extraordinary lives of these aircraft, from October 2 to 9.
1. EasyJet G-EZPT
EasyJet's A320 used London Gatwick as a base, completed precisely four flights a day over the course of the week (including an additional hop from Athens to Pafos when the original flight was diverted to the Greek capital. It covered destinations from Mallorca to Hurghada. It flew nearly one-and-a-half times around the world in just seven days, staying in the air for nearly 90 hours.
- Airline: EasyJet
- Aircraft: A320
- Flights: 29
- Destinations: 14
- Distance travelled: 39,438 miles
2. Qantas VH-OQJ
The A380, the world's largest passenger jet, is used on the Aussie airline's long-haul services, covering some of the longest flight routes on the planet, between the UK and Australia. Accordingly, it flew the furthest and spent the longest time in the air, despite flying the fewest number of flights. Plus, it took in only five different airports, and did not travel back and forth as much as the other aircraft. Its longest flight, Los Angeles to Sydney, lasted 14 hours and 17 minutes and covered more than 12,000km.
- Airline: Qantas
- Aircraft: A380
- Flights: 11
- Destinations: 5
- Distance travelled: 58,515 miles
3. British Airways G-CIVF
BA is the largest operator of the 747, using the famed "jumbo jet" on its transatlantic routes, as evidenced by this aircraft's eight trips across the pond in a week, visiting New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago. The aircraft flew fewer than half the flights of its EasyJet rival, but travelled 10,000km further. It also enjoyed a foray down to Johannesburg.
- Airline: BA
- Aircraft : 747
- Flights: 12
- Destinations: 7
- Distance travelled: 45,487 miles
4. Jet2 G-CELK
Using Leeds Bradford as a base, this Jet2 737 flew a number of particularly short flights, hopping from the north of England to Amsterdam, less than an hour away. However, it spread its net, covering 13 destinations in the week and spending nearly 50 hours in the air.
- Airline: Jet2
- Aircraft : 737
- Flights: 27
- Destinations: 13
- Distance travelled: 23,777 miles
5. Ryanair EI-DAC
Ryanair's aircraft, a Boeing 737, worked the hardest in the week, exhausting itself over 46 flights and taking in 19 different airports. We chose an aircraft that seemed to be based at Barcelona to add a bit of variety to the proceedings, and many of this aircraft's flights included short hops around the Iberian peninsula, and to Ibiza. The aircraft flew only two-thirds the distance of its EasyJet counterpart, however.
- Airline: Ryanair
- Aircraft : 737
- Flights: 46
- Destinations: 19
- Distance travelled: 28,326 miles
The Telegraph, London
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