Perth and Melbourne will be the big winners when Qantas launches its first non-stop flights between Australia and London next March 24 using the ground-breaking Dreamliner 787-9, which can fly further without refuelling than any other commercial aircraft.
Tickets went on sale yesterday for the new daily service, tagged QF9/10, which will originate in Melbourne before stopping in Perth and then flying without a break to London.
It will replace Qantas’ existing Melbourne-Dubai-London services and cut flying time from the Victorian capital to Europe by one hour.
The 14,498km flight from Perth to London will take approximately 17 hours, making it the third-longest passenger flight in the world.
The move is part of a broader fleet management strategy with Qantas designating Melbourne the hub for its first four Dreamliners.
Two 787s will be dedicated to the Melbourne-Los Angeles route from December 2017, while the third and fourth aircraft will service Melbourne-Perth-London service from March 2018.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said Western Australian tourism will also benefit, turning Perth into a gateway city.
“This route makes Western Australia a new tourism gateway for Australia,” he said.
“We know from our research that there’s a lot of appetite to explore the West, not just from British and European visitors but also from Aussies on their way to London.
“A lot of business travellers, particularly in the resources sector, will stop off in Perth on their way to the UK,” he added.
Qantas said the A380 currently operating Melbourne-London route will be redeployed to meet periods of high demand from Melbourne and Sydney to destinations in Asia, such as Singapore and Hong Kong.