FlightAware Discussions

South Pacific great circles route flights

So at first I wasn’t even sure if anyone flew those routes… but it looks like Qantas flies it…
flightaware.com/live/flight/QFA2 … /YSSY/SCEL

How does this work if you have to divert or make an emergency landing? Are you basically totally screwed? In the North Pacific you at least have Russia and Alaska/Canada where you could make a landing, but it looks like there aren’t any options in the South Pacific… or am I missing something?

Routes between South America and Australia/New Zealand have been for many years.

The flights are operated with 4-engine aircraft (e.g. 747) which can operate anywhere without an en-route diversion airport (of course an alternate is needed at the destination). Though it could do it, you won’t see a 777 operating between these two points because there’s no airport within ETOPS (extended twin ops) range.

Tahiti and possibly Easter Island could be used for emergency alternates en-route.

None of those great circle routes go anywhere near Tahiti or Easter Island.

gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=GRU- … MAP-STYLE=

gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=GRU- … MAP-STYLE=

GRU-PPT-SYD is about 2000 miles longer than GRU-SYD. There’s probably not anywhere where a GRU-PPT route would be closer to PPT than SCL, GRU, SYD, or maybe somewhere in NZ.

However, a GRU-PPT-SYD routing would allow ETOPS-180

gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=GRU- … &ETOPS=180

Yes, I understand that. I also used the Great Circle Distance to determine the routes, although I was basing my use of it on the SCL (Santiago) flights, not GRU (Sao Paulo). My thinking is if there was a bad enough emergency then the flight could possibly divert to PPT (Papeete), depending on the winds and nearness of PPT to any other diversion points.

SCL-IPC (Easter Island)-SYD is only 71 miles longer than the nonstop SCL-IPC. Routing via PPT adds 1681 miles.