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 sale today.
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 787-9 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. 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. He added:
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.
The travel experience for customers connecting in Perth will be seamless, with Qantas building a new international transit lounge at Perth Airport. People joining the flight to London from other parts of Australia (including regional Western Australia and Adelaide) will find it a smooth transition with international and domestic flights arriving and departing from the same terminal, complete with dedicated customs and immigration. More details on the transit experience at Perth will be announced next month.
Qantas has expanded its marketing partnership with Tourism Western Australia to maximise the tourism benefits of the new service, and will also make Perth-London the focus of the next phase of its Feels Like Home (opens in new window) advertising campaign launching today on Qantas’ social channels and on 30th April, 2017 across TV, outdoor, in-terminal and via channels.
The campaign will also run in the UK. Since launching in 2014, the Feels Like Home adverts have clocked up over 17 million views on social media channels alone.
Year round return Economy fares for the Melbourne-London and Perth-London routes start from $2,270 but are expected to drop below $2,000 during sale periods. Year round return Premium Economy fares start from $4,450 between Melbourne and London and from $4,250 between Perth and London. Year round return Business fares start from $9,890 return between Melbourne and London and from $9,725 between Perth and London. ¤
CHANGES TO MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL SERVICES AND NEW A380 FLYING
By swapping its daily A380 Melbourne-Dubai-London service for a daily 787-9 Melbourne-Perth-London service, Qantas has made Victoria the hub for its first four Dreamliners. Qantas’ first two 787s will be dedicated to the Melbourne-Los Angeles route from December 2017, with the third and fourth aircraft dedicated to Melbourne-Perth-London service from March 2018.
With a faster flying time and quicker connections in Perth, customers travelling to London from Melbourne will reduce their total travel time by more than an hour compared with existing Qantas A380 services.
The Qantas Emirates partnership will continue to deliver an unrivalled offer to Europe with more options for passengers to choose from in both directions. Qantas customers in Melbourne will have the option to fly with partner Emirates on Qantas code to Dubai and then direct to nearly 40 destinations in Europe. Emirates is up-gauging its third daily flight from the Victorian city from a Boeing 777-300ER to an A380 service from the 25th March, 2018.
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.
¤ Conditions apply.
* Subject to government and regulatory approvals.
^ The return QF10 sector operating from Perth to Melbourne will also connect onwards to our B787 Melbourne-Los Angeles service, creating a seamless same day connection the whole way on our B787 for Perth passengers travelling to Los Angeles.
FAST FACTS – PERTH TO LONDON
Qantas’ Perth-London service will operate through Qantas’ existing Perth domestic terminals (T3/4), which are being upgraded with new facilities and lounges to accommodate international flights. The airline’s current international services from Perth (to Singapore and to Auckland) will also move to T3/4
The 14,498km flight will take approximately 17 hours (slightly more or less depending on winds).
When it launches, it’s expected to be the third-longest passenger flight in the world.
It will be the longest flight on the Qantas network, followed by our non-stop A380 Sydney-Dallas service (13,730km).
It will also 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.
The original Kangaroo route (from Sydney to London) started in 1947 and had the following stopovers over four day duration: Sydney, Darwin, Singapore, Calcutta, Karachi, Cairo, Castel Benito, Rome, London.
When Alan Joyce says “We’ve added a very high level of comfort in each of the cabins“, this is certainly not true for the economy cabin with its 3-3-3 seating: that means a tight and narrow 17” width for a 17 hours trip. Do you mind if I prefer a trip that lasts three hours more, on a comfortable A380, with a stopover in Dubai?