Published: Tue, March 27, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

Seven facts about Qantas's breakthrough flight from Perth to London

Seven facts about Qantas's breakthrough flight from Perth to London

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, operated by Qantas Airways, arrived Sunday in London just over 17 hours after setting off from the western Australian city of Perth.

American Express Global Business Travel said bookings on all types of flights from Singapore to San Francisco rose 12 percent a year ago, with Singapore Airlines and United now offering non-stop service on the route in competition with one-stop rivals like Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd and Taiwan's EVA Airways Corp. "I'll accept this honour on behalf of Qantas, but I dedicate it to all the people who have served this great airline throughout its history, and who have worked ceaselessly for the delivery of the first-ever nonstop route between Australia and London".

Leaving Sydney, it stopped in Darwin in northern Australia, Singapore, Calcutta in India, Karachi in Pakistan, Cairo in Egypt, Tripoli in Libya and, finally, London.

The airline said the inaugural flight reduced total travel time by cutting out stopovers and by taking advantage of favorable winds on any given day without having to factor in a midpoint in the Middle East or Asia when choosing a flight path.

The former champion, Singapore Airlines' 15,300km Singapore-New York route, was discontinued in 2013.

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"There is a lot of competitive pressure and those ultra-long haul flights are adding to it", said James Marshall, Expedia's vice president for transport partner services.

To succeed, the route must defy the boom-and-bust commodities cycle that has preyed on Western Australia.

Anyone who's flown from the United Kingdom to Australia or vice versa will tell you how agonisingly long the flight is.

Qantas completed the first direct flight between Perth and London on 25 March, marking the start of the only direct air link between Australia and Europe.

If both can do it, the airline will call for tenders next year and place an order, with the aircraft likely to be ready by 2022.

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The new route is the third longest passenger flight in the world, but the longest on a Dreamliner.

"It's not that far away and the opportunity for all of us in that is quite massive", he said.

The 17-hour journey was operated by four pilots on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Qantas 9 (QF9) landed at Heathrow's Terminal 3 just after 5am, just over 17 hours after departing from Perth on Australia's west coast.

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