Preferred Routes

The previous routes are based on Great Circle Principles. One of the Great Circle principles is to avoid east west travel near the Equator. This is due to the increased bulge of the planet near the Equator.

For this reason the main east west travel of these routes is either a great distance north of the Equator via the Majuro route or a great distance south of the Equator via the Pago Pago or Nadi routes.

The non-stop B747.400 route that passes to the south of the Hawaiian Islands is the commercial [Qantas / United / Air New Zealand] version of the Great Circle route. The other routes are also based on the Great Circle principle with refuelling at Honolulu.

There is no real difference via Majuro or Pago Pago / Nadi. The usual non-B747.400, eg B767, airline route is via Nadi or Pago Pago as more passengers would stop off in these tourist regions. Some B767-300ER or similar planes may track direct Australia / Honolulu. Freight planes or private planes sometimes use the Majuro route.

Delivery Flights

Many small aircraft have flown the long Pacific Ocean stages on their delivery flight to Australia or New Zealand. These aircraft, like Smithy's planes, were fitted with extra fuel tanks.

These extra tanks were of the metal variety in the baggage compartment or main cabin. Other types of temporary fuel tanks could include the bladder bag variety.



Australia to Europe via Asia

Page last updated on 31/12/03

Air Routes
General Info
During WWII
San Fran/Sydney
via Hawaii
Preferred Routes