Australian flag carrier, Qantas, has announced the first nonstop service between London Heathrow and Perth. The 14,498 km (9,009 mi) service will launch on March 25, 2018, with the first flight, QF10, due to depart London Heathrow at 13:30 before arriving into Perth at 13:15 the following day, approximately 16 hours later.
The news comes six months after the famous kangeroo-tailed airline announced its plans to connect a European city to Austrailia.
The flight, operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, will then continue its service onto Melbourne, saving approximately 45 minutes from the current Qantas service from Heathrow to Melbourne via Dubai.
While the flight will become the carrier’s longest, marginally overtaking its current service from Sydney to Dallas at 13,370 km (8,307 mi), it will not be the longest nonstop service currently offered by an airline. The current record holder, Qatar Airways, offers service from its hub in Doha to Auckland, New Zealand at a distance of 14,525 km (9,025 mi), beating the new Qantas route.
Alan Joyce, Qantas’ chief executive, described the service as a “level of convenience those in Europe have never had before.” He further emphasized how the new service “Is the kind of route that the Dreamliner was created for,” particularly describing how Qantas views the aircraft as a game changer within its fleet.
The aircraft will operate with 236 seats, across a three cabin tier of Business, Premium Economy, and Economy.
While the three-tier layout may be met with reluctance from some business passengers who have since grown accustomed to the first class product and service available onboard the A380, the aircraft which currently serves the route, Alan Joyce is confident it will be met by praise from customers due to the lower seat count, increased seat comfort and new additions to its in-flight service.
Currently, the Australian carrier operates an A380 aircraft on the London-Dubai-Melbourne route. However, when the new service takes to the skies next year, operation of this route will cease and Qantas passengers will instead be given the option of flying on a Qantas codeshare flight with its partner, Emirates.
The Dubai-based carrier will be upgrading its third Melbourne-Dubai service to an A380 on the same date, replacing the Boeing 777-300ER currently used on the route.
With the new route replacing an A380 aircraft, Qantas has indicated that it intends to utilize the free A380 on high demand routes from Sydney and Melbourne to cities throughout Asia.
Tickets are currently on sale for the new service, with demand proving extremely high despite the high costs associated with such a flight. With tickets currently priced at around £1345 for a round trip, Qantas has indicated that it expects fares to drop below £900 during dear periods.
In his spare time, while not studying, flying or immersing himself in aviation he enjoys spending his time volunteering in a variety of roles and running a blog to help other aspiring pilots pursue their dream.