Just out of interest: what exactly do you mean by "half-native" English speaker ...? Doesn't that term apply to all of us who have studied the lingo up to teaching degree level? Did you mean "near-native speaker"?
Incidentally, I fully support the explanations given with regard to Ines' question: it's simply a matter of style! Moving "by plane" to the end of the sentence highlights the fact that the journey takes an x-length of time by aeroplane - and not by car or by train, etc!