Flying Australia to London just got alot easier with Qantas today announcing that it will start the first direct flights from Australia to London in March 2018, when Perth will become the Australia hub for the 17 hour Perth to London non-stop flight.
Perth to become Departure Point For Direct Australia to London Flight
After months of negotiations between Perth Airport and Qantas, Qantas today announced that it will commence its direct Australia to London flight using Perth as its departure point. The flight is the first direct link ever between Australia and Europe and will be 14,498km in distance and take 17 hours using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Interestingly, when Qantas first started flying between Australia and London it took four days and nine stops, and Perth was a stop-over point on the kangaroo route between the 1940’s and 1960’s.
However, although the flying time is now significantly reduced to London, I am not sure how whether I personally like the idea of sitting on a plane for 17 hours straight (not to mention running the risk of ending up sitting next to a screaming baby or an annoying passenger). In more recent times, I have got used to flying Eithad or Emirates from Australia to Europe, which has the benefit of breaking up the flight in the middle allowing you to have a couple of hours to stretch the legs, freshen up, or go for a walk.
Added Comfort for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner?
I recently flew the Dreamliner from Amsterdam to Perth return and must say I enjoyed the aircraft. I really liked the larger windows, natural lighting and lower cabin noise, however I was flying Etihad and so can’t vouch for the Qantas experience.
The Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, said passenger comfort on the long flight was a key consideration.
“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.
“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,” he added.
According to Qantas, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners used on the route will carry 236 passengers across Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.
Perth to Act as Hub For Other Australian Travellers to London
The new direct flight Perth to London will operate from Qantas’ existing domestic terminals (T3 / T4) to allow for smoother connections for passengers connecting from Eastern States flights. The domestic terminals will be upgraded to accommodate international flights, and Qantas will also move its Perth to Singapore and Perth to Auckland flights to this terminal. However, by 2025, Qantas will move all of its interstate and international operations to an expanded Terminal 1 at Perth Airport.
Alan Joyce said “We’ll be looking at the timing of our domestic flights through Perth to offer the best connections we can to our international flights, particularly given they will all be under the one roof.”
Perth to Get a Tourism Boost From Direct Perth to London flight
The State Government of Western Australia clearly expects an economic boost from the direct flight between Perth and London. Only a couple of weeks ago, it seemed the Perth Airport and Qantas could not reach agreement on commercial terms for the flight. However a recent intervention from the Western Australian Premier and a contribution to costs from the Western Australian government looks to have sealed the deal.
As a parochial Western Australian, I think it will be a great boost for Perth and Western Australian tourism. And for those of you that haven’t visited Perth here are some things Perth and its surrounds has to offer. 🙂
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