Qantas’s first direct flight from Perth to London has touched down at Heathrow airport.
QF9, carrying more than 200 passengers and 16 crew, pushed back just before 7pm on Saturday evening and touched down in London at 5am on Sunday.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who was one of the passengers on the inaugural flight, described it as a major milestone for Australia as well as global aviation.
“This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link,” Joyce says.
The original Kangaroo Route from Australia to London was named for the seven stops it made over four days back in 1947. Now it has been reduced to just one hop.
“The response to the flight has been amazing, both for the attention it’s received since we announced it and the bookings we’ve seen coming in. It’s great for Australian tourism, for business travellers and for people visiting friends and family on both sides of the world,” Joyce says.
Qantas Flight 10 (QF 10) will depart Heathrow for Perth, Australia at 1.30pm local time daily.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner reduces total travel time to and from London to just 17 hours by eliminating stopovers and taking advantage of the most favourable winds on any given day. Joyce says, QF9 and QF10 also have features designed to reduce jetlag, turbulence and noise. Passengers have more space in every class, bigger entertainment screens and more personal storage.
“We’ve worked with the University of Sydney and our consulting chef Neil Perry to create a menu that helps the body cope better with jetlag and adjusted the timing of when we serve food to encourage sleep.”
QF9 flies daily from Melbourne to Perth, before then flying non-stop to London. Qantas has adjusted the timing of some domestic services into Perth so that passengers from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane can join the flight to London.