They are a lucky bunch here in the Middle East. A. They happen to have a large conglomeration of dead dinosaurs muck (oil) under the ground and B. they happen to be within a suitable refuelling distance between civilised countries. (Hence the Middle bit).
Sums it up.
I fly regularly Manchester - Bangkok with family. There are no direct flights from MAN. It's either change at LHR (crap) or Frankfurt etc, (2 hr flight) still with a 12 hr or so onward flight.
I have a choice of several decent airlines to the Middle East from MAN, all with good connections on to BKK (and many, many other places). A 7 hr flight, 2 hr break for a rest / strech legs / bit of shopping etc followed by another 6 hr flight. Beleive me, that is heaven rather than a 12 hr flight with kids. Good, new airports at Abu Dhabi & Dubai also.