The first direct flight from Australia to Europe will take off in 2018, connecting Perth with London.
Qantas unveiled the flights at the start of the week, confirming that it would operate a non-stop flight from the UK capital to the popular Australian city, usings its 787-8 Dreamliner.
The route, which will span a whopping 14,498 kilometres will be the first regular passenger service to directly link Australia with Europe when it begins in March 2018. When it launches, it will be the third-longest passenger flight in the world, taking approximately 17 hours.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says the history-making route will be a watershed for travel, tourism and trade: “When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops. 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,” he adds.
The direct route is expected to appeal to travellers on the East Coast as well as West Australians, helping to deliver a tourism boost across the country.
“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,” he explains. “Our modelling shows that people from the East Coast as well as South Australia would fly domestically to Perth to connect to our non-stop London service. Some will take the opportunity to break their journey, whether it’s for business meetings in Perth, to holiday or to visit family.”
The news is a further boost to the already strong link betwen the UK and Australia, with the country one of the most popular destinations for Brits looking to retire or relocate overseas. Seats on the Perth-London flights will go on sale in April 2017 for the first services in March 2018, with Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins available.