First non-stop Australia-UK flights to launch in 2018

Travellers will be able to fly direct between Australia and the UK for the first time in 2018, following the launch of Qantas’ new non-stop Perth-London service.

The new 14,498km route, which will be operated using the airline’s brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, is scheduled to commence in March 2018 and will become the first direct connection between Australia and Europe.

Qantas’ existing European and UK services operate via Dubai, but the closer proximity of Perth, combined with the improved fuel-efficiency of the new B787-9 aircraft, will enable non-stop services.

Economy class on Qantas' new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Economy class on Qantas’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

“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,” said Qantas’ group CEO, Alan Joyce.

“This is a game-changing route flown by a game-changing aircraft. Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before, so the opportunities this opens up are huge.

“It’s great news for travellers because it will make it easier to get to London. It’s great news for Western Australia because it will bring jobs and tourism. And it’s great news for the nation, because it will bring us closer to one of our biggest trade partners and sources of visitors,” he added.

The route will take approximately 17 hours, but Joyce said that the interiors of the B787 would ensure that passengers are comfortable.

“We have features in our economy seats that other airlines reserve for premium economy. Our business suite has been nicknamed ‘mini First class’ by many of our frequent flyers. And we’re redesigning our onboard service to help reduce jetlag,” he revealed.

The Dreamliner series also features lower cabin noise, improved air quality and technology to reduce turbulence.  In total, Qantas’ B787-9s will seat 236 passengers in business, premium economy and economy class cabins.

The new Perth-London flights will open for sale in April 2017.

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