Australians can now book non-stop flights* from Australia to Europe for the first time, with tickets for Qantas' Perth-London (Heathrow) route going on May 2.
Daily flights on the history-making route begin on 24 March 2018 and form part of a new Melbourne-Perth-London return service. The services will be operated by Qantas’ new Boeing 787-Dreamliner – an aircraft designed specifically for comfort on long-haul sectors.
Customers from other Australian cities will be able to connect to London via Perth, while inbound passengers will be able to transfer from the West Australian capital to onward destinations across the country. There’s also expected to be a surge in stopovers within Western Australia itself.
The new QF9/10 will replace Qantas’ existing Melbourne-Dubai-London services – marking the next evolution of the Kangaroo Route, seven decades after the national carrier first flew Australians all the way to London.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said there had been global interest in the Perth-London flights since they were announced in December 2016.
“We’ve said the Qantas Dreamliner is a game changer, and that’s becoming real today,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Kangaroo Route has kept changing with new technology. It used to take four days and seven stops but now we’re able to link Australia and UK in a single hop. It’s a level of convenience Australians have never had before.
“We’re conscious that this is a long flight, but not much longer than our Sydney to Dallas service. It’s the kind of route that the Dreamliner was created for, because of its built-in features to reduce jetlag and improve the overall travel experience.
“We’ve added a very high level of comfort in each of the cabins and a lower seat count than most of our competitors. And we’re making tweaks to our in-flight service designed to help customers enjoy the journey more.”
Mr Joyce said direct routes tended to stimulate new travel demand by making it easier to get to a destination – something that will benefit the West Australian economy and Australian tourism more broadly.
“This route makes Western Australia a new tourism gateway for Australia. We know from our research that there’s a lot of appetite to explore the West, not just from British and European visitors but also from Aussies on their way to London. A lot of business travellers, particularly in the resources sector, will stop off in Perth on their way to the UK,” he added.
The Qantas A380 that currently operates the Melbourne-London route will be redeployed to meet periods of high demand from Melbourne and Sydney to destinations in Asia, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.