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Buckle up because these are the world’s longest flights

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Emirates has announced the return of its A380 on the Dubai to Auckland route after a three-year hiatus

Emirates has announced the return of its Airbus A380 service connecting its hub, Dubai to New Zealand.

The superjumbo jet will fly for around 16 hours—making it one of the longest routes available on its network.

It is also one of the world’s longest non-stop commercial flights.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought the global aviation market to a grinding halt.

Many carriers slowed or even stopped their commercial long-haul routes.

5. Melbourne—Dallas

Pushing back from Melbourne every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, Qantas recently took off on its first flight to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

QF21 takes off at 2pm local time and arrives at 12:45pm local time. That’s 15 hours and 45 minutes up in the sky.

Sean Donohue is DFW’s Chief Executive Officer, who said the route connect Qantas to a range of destinations across the U.S. and the Caribbean.

“As the second busiest Airport in the world, it makes sense that Qantas looked to expand service here to take advantage of all that we offer and to give Qantas customers another option to the U.S.”

The return leg is a little longer, with QF22 departing at 7:10pm and travelling for 17 hours 35 minute before touching down in Melbourne at 5:45am two days later.

4. London—Perth

Another Qantas flight takes make the list as one of the world’s longest non-stop commercial flights.

This time, the London Heathrow to Perth International route takes passengers on a 17 hour and 20 minutes journey from the UK to Australia.

This flight has been operating since March 2018 and uses the wide body 787-9 Dreamliner for the 14,500km journey.

3. Doha—Auckland

This route, operated by Qatar Airways, is currently on hold. Instead, passengers will need to connect to Auckland, New Zealand through Adelaide.

The Managing Director at Adelaide International, Brenton Cox said Qatar Airways will operate daily for the first time in nearly three years.

“Flights to Doha offer excellent connections to European destinations, while the onward services from Adelaide to Auckland are proving very popular.”

“Our local exporters seeking aviation freight links via New Zealand and Doha can benefit from the consistent daily connections to major trading partners around the globe,” Mr Cox explained.

The once 17 hours and 25 minutes journey would take passengers across 14,535km between the two nations.

2. Newark—Singapore

Passengers can travel between New Jersey and Singapore on SQ21, which operates seven days a week.

Singapore Airlines suspended the 18 hour and 10 minute journey in March 2020 as passenger numbers dropped at the onset of the pandemic.

1. New York—Singapore

Singapore Airlines’ previous record has been eclipsed by the New York to Singapore route.

Passengers will spend 18 hours and 15 minutes in the sky. The Airbus A380 clocks 15,349km as it travels from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Changi in Singapore.

Singapore Airlines said journey will “better accommodate a mix of passenger and cargo traffic on its services to New York in the current operating climate.”

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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OpenAI to offer premium ChatGPT service

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OpenAI has announced a monthly plan that will give you priority access to the ChatGPT bot

ChatGPT Plus is set to cost $20/month, and allow a user the ability to use the chatbot even during peak times, where free users would have to wait.

The company also says the plan will give you “faster response times” and “priority access to new features and improvements.”

OpenAI will be sending out invitations for the service to people in the U.S. over the next few weeks, before expanding to other regions around the world.

This comes amid the company revealing that a mobile phone version of the chatbot is being developed.

Currently, it is only available as a computer program.

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Meta stocks soar in ‘Year of Efficiency’

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Meta Platforms has announced a better-than-expected sales quarter, as well as a USD$40 billion stock buyback.

The parent of Instagram and Facebook cut its cost outlook for 2023 by $5 billion, and projected first-quarter sales that could beat Wall Street estimates.

Meta stock surged nearly 19% in after-hours trade.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg described the focus on efficiency as part of the natural evolution of the company, calling it a “phase change” for an organisation that once lived by the motto “move fast and break things.”

“We just grew so quickly for like the first 18 years,” Zuckerberg said in a conference call. “It’s very hard to really crank on efficiency while you’re growing that quickly. I just think we’re in a different environment now.”

The cost cuts reflect Meta’s updated plans for lower data centre construction expenses this year.

In November, the company cut more than 11,000 jobs in response, a precursor to the tens of thousands of layoffs in the tech industry that followed.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we are focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organisation,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

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U.S. Fed Reserve hikes interest rates by 25 basis points

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The U.S. Federal Reserve has announced its latest interest rate hike

 
The 25 basis-point increase comes after a half-point hike in December, and a three-quarter-point increase the month before that.

And it came with the forecast that the Fed isn’t finished.

“We will need substantially more evidence to be confident that inflation is on a sustained downward path,” U.S. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said in a press conference.

Powell noted positive signs that inflation was beginning to abate.

“We can now say I think for the first time that the disinflationary process has started, and we see it in goods prices, so far…but it is insufficient to signal an end to the rate hikes, though it would be stepping down from last year’s rapid pace of increases.”

Future rate increases would be in quarter-percentage-point increments.

“We will continue to make our decisions meeting by meeting, taking into account the totality of incoming data and their implications for the outlook for economic activity and inflation,” Powell added.

The decision lifted the benchmark overnight interest rate to a range between 4.50% and 4.75% – a move widely anticipated by investors and flagged by U.S. central bankers ahead of this week’s two-day policy session.

Inflation, based on the Fed’s preferred measure, slowed to a 5% annual rate in December.

The Fed hopes it can continue nudging inflation lower to its 2% target without triggering a deep recession or causing a substantial rise in the unemployment rate from the current 3.5%, a level rarely seen in recent decades.

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