Qantas have confirmed that the first non-stop flights from Australia to the UK will begin in March 2018.
Australia’s national carrier, Qantas, have said it will connect Perth to the British capital using Boeing 787 Dreamliners beginning in March 2018. The 9,000 mile (14,498km) non-stop flight will take approximately 17 hours. Although the service will not be the longest in the world – Air India hold that record for their Delhi to San Francisco service – it is the first time a non-stop flight will connect Australia to the UK.
Qantas chief executive officer, Alan Joyce, said: “Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before, so the opportunities this opens up are huge. When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops. Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop.”
It is anticipated that the service will boost tourism to Western Australia. The UK is Australia’s third largest source of overseas arrivals with approximately 660,000 Britons visiting last year.
The new route will use Qantas’s existing domestic terminals in Perth, meaning significant upgrades are required. The Western Australian premier, Colin Barnett, has committed $14m AUD to upgrade airport infrastructure. He welcomed the deal as “game-changing”, and said it could inject up to $36m AUD into the state’s economy each year.
Perth, Australia is often regarded as the most isolated major city in the world. Its nearest city of a population of over one million people is Adelaide – a mere 1,207 miles (2,104km) away.