I recently took a flight between Vienna (Austria) - Taipei (Taiwan) and then back Taipei - Vienna.

The interesting thing that I don't understand is why it takes longer to fly TPE - VIE than VIE - TPE?

Vienna - Taipei - 11h40mins: Vienna-Taipei

Taipei - Vienna - 13h 40mins (two hours longer): Taipei-Vienna

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! Does this answer your question? Why do flight times differ between traveling East versus traveling West? $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Feb 19 at 1:48
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    $\begingroup$ I see now that the pilot must have observed the wind prediction before flight - but what is interesting is the fact that flight path was also longer - he first flew at least 1000 km to the nord - and then to the west. What would happen if the pilot took shortest path to Vienna? How long would the flight be? I understand we would face then headwinds - obviously it's still better to make extra 1000 km than to face headwind? $\endgroup$ – FrenkyB Feb 19 at 2:04
  • $\begingroup$ Two Words: WINDS ALOFT $\endgroup$ – Carlo Felicione Feb 19 at 4:24
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    $\begingroup$ winds aloft and temporary airspace closures. Say you're not allowed to fly over a specific country for the return flight for some reason, so you need a detour. $\endgroup$ – jwenting Feb 19 at 4:47
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    $\begingroup$ @FrenkyB, we are talking about winds that can reach quarter of the speed of the aircraft itself. A 1000 km is just a bit over eighths of the distance. Well worth it. Also, the shortest route from Taipei to Vienna starts north-west. The eastbound flight is the one that usually makes huge detour (and is still faster with the 100 knot tailwind). $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Feb 19 at 21:48

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