When Qantas first launched their “Kangaroo Route” to London in 1947, it took nine stops across four days to make it from the white beaches of Australia to the building-lined banks of the Thames. Now, in a first for Australia’s national carrier, the airline is offering non-stop flights from Perth to London.
The 14,498km, 17-hour long flight on their re-vamped Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is expected to be the third-longest in the world, and is the first direct link between Australia and Europe to be offered as a regular service. A London to Sydney non-stop on a 747 occurred once in 1989, and Qantas offered a direct route to Turkey for the 100-year anniversary of Gallipoli, but the new service, named QF-9, is set to change the way both Australians and Europeans approach travel.
While more Australians are expected to travel to London via Perth, for the speed, ease and convenience of a direct flight, many more Europeans are expected to make Perth their first stop for future Australian holidays, giving a boost to the local economy, while making Australia a more viable travel option in general. Qantas’ re-vamped Perth terminal will house both Domestic and International flights, making connecting to other Australian cities a breeze.
Qantas is no stranger to innovation, having offered the first passenger-jet services across the Pacific in 1959, as well as being the first to operate the world’s largest passenger jet, the Airbus A380, on the world’s longest route (Sydney to Dallas), back in 2015.
Perhaps one of the most well-considered features, however, is the menu, which saw executive chef Neil Perry collaborate with nutritionists and sleep experts to create dishes that are designed to specifically reduce the effects of jetlag, with a focus on fresh ingredients. There are also Premium Economy features that come as standard in economy class, as well as windows that are 65% larger than standard, all in the name of making the excruciatingly long flight as comfortable as possible for all.