Why Dont Planes Fly Over the Pacific

Do Planes Fly Over the Pacific Ocean? 

Anyone who has traveled to locations in the Pacific knows that there are very rarely flights that fly over the entire ocean. Rather, they choose curved routes that fly over larger bodies of land. If you are interested in becoming a flight dispatcher, you are most likely curious about the best way to plan a flight from one end of the Pacific Ocean to the other. In the following article, Sheffield School of Aeronautics, an experienced flight dispatcher school, will detail all of the reasons why you will need special consideration when planning a flight of this caliber. Do planes fly over the Pacific Ocean? Continue reading below for more information. 

Why Don’t Planes Fly Over the Pacific Ocean? 

The Pacific Ocean is a massive body of water that will require an extremely large amount of fuel to fly across. Rather than flying directly across the Pacific Ocean, most commercial flights take curved routes because they are actually shorter than shooting straight across a distance. This may sound counterintuitive, but since the Earth is spherical, a straight line is not necessarily the shortest distance between two points. 


Another reason that airplanes choose to take curved routes is that they are safer and more fuel efficient than a straight line. By taking a curved route that covers more land than a straight line, there will be more opportunities for emergency landings should there be a need for one. Lastly, if a plane were to, unfortunately, crash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it would take an extremely extensive search and rescue mission to find the airplane. 

Why Don’t Planes Fly West to Australia? 

Why don’t planes fly across the Pacific to Australia? Australia is one of the most popular locations for people flying across the Pacific. Australia is extremely far from the nearest location in the United States. This means that a plane will spend a longer amount of time flying over water. Most hazardous weather conditions take place over bodies of water. These include thunderstorms, which are extremely hazardous to flights. So, flights often look to spend as little time as possible flying over water. 

Another reason that planes do not generally fly west to Australia is that airlines look to cut fueling costs by taking more fuel stops in airports across the different airports in Asia. There are few airplanes that could handle a transpacific flight, but a flight of this caliber usually lasts between 11 to 12 hours. 

More About Sheffield School of Aeronautics

Interested in a flight dispatch course? Sheffield School of Aeronautics is an experienced airline dispatcher school that is dedicated to helping students and prospective FAA dispatchers with our wide collection of courses and resources. Aside from answering questions like “Do planes fly over the Pacific Ocean?” we make sure to provide a comprehensive list of everything that a student may need to know. We offer international flight planning and flight weather planning courses, among many others. Contact us today to discover what makes us one of the most sought-after aircraft dispatching schools in the nation. 

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