Qantas has announced that it will start to offer direct flights from Australia to the UK from March 2018.
Flights along the route, which will make use of the airlines new 787-9 Dreamliner, will make the airline the first to offer a regular passenger service that links Australia with mainland Europe.
Sales will begin in early 2017, with each flight able to accommodate 236 passengers.
“When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said. “Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop.
“This is a game-changing route flown by a game-changing aircraft. Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before, so the opportunities this opens up are huge.
“It’s great news for travellers because it will make it easier to get to London. It’s great news for Western Australia because it will bring jobs and tourism. And it’s great news for the nation, because it will bring us closer to one of our biggest trade partners and sources of visitors.”
Business, Premium Economy and Economy seats will all be available on all flights, with the airline promising high levels of comfort throughout.
“When we designed the interior of our 787s, we wanted to make sure passengers would be comfortable on the extended missions the aircraft was capable of,” Joyce continued. “That’s why we have features in our Economy seats that other airlines reserve for Premium Economy. Our Business Suite has been nicknamed ‘mini First class’ by many of our frequent flyers. And we’re redesigning our on-board service to help reduce jetlag.
“A direct flight makes travelling to Australia a much more attractive proposition to millions of people. We expect many travellers from Europe will start their time in Australia with a visit to Perth before going on to see other parts of the country.”
Flight will operate through Qantas’ existing domestic terminals in Perth (T3/4), which will be upgraded to accommodate international flights.
FAST FACTS - PERTH TO LONDON
• The 14,498km flight will take approximately 17 hours (slightly more or less depending on winds).
• When it launches, is expected to be the third-longest passenger flight in the world.
• Will be the longest Boeing Dreamliner flight in the world.
• The first regular passenger service from Australia to Europe adds to Qantas’ list of flying firsts, including:
• First passenger jet services across the Pacific in 1959 with a B707.
• First (and only) non-stop passenger flight from London to Sydney in 1989 with a B747-400.
• First to operate the world’s largest passenger aircraft (A380) on the world’s longest route (Sydney-Dallas) in 2014.
• Perth was also used as a stopover on flights to London between the 1940s and 1960s.
• In 2015, Qantas operated a one-off B747-400 charter flight from Perth to Istanbul to take Australians to the Centenary of Anzac at Gallipoli – the last time the national carrier flew from Australia to Europe non-stop.
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