Airlines Qantas starts first direct flights between Australia and Europe

  • Qantas

Australia’s flag carrier Qantas has commenced the first direct flights between Europe and Australia.

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Flight QF9 departed from Perth on March 24, 2018 and arrived in London Heathrow on the next day. With over 17 hours, the new route is the third longest commercial flight currently in operation. 

The flight was operated by one of Qantas new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which is configured with 236 seats, 42 in Business, 28 in Premium Economy and 166 in Economy Class. 16 crew members (4 pilots) take care of the passengers during the long flight. To make the journey as comfortable as possible, Qantas Boeing 787 is equipped with bigger entertainment screens and more personal storage. Even the food has been adjusted to special demands on an ultra-long-haul flight.

“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 jet lag and adjusted the timing of when we serve food to encourage sleep,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
QF9: The first direct flight between Australia and Europe © Qantas

The daily flight QF9 begins in Melbourne, flying 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.

The new connection is the first-ever direct connection between Australia and Europe. Qantas partners with Emirates for its connections from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide to London via Dubai. Additionally, Singapore Airlines offers daily flights from Sydney to London with a stop-over in Singapore.

With the arrival of new modern and fuel saving aircraft types like the Airbus A350 or Boeing’s B787, several airlines are planning to recommence ultra-long-haul operations. Former aircraft types like the Airbus A340-500, used for example by Singapore Airlines for its flight from Singapore to New York (crossing Europe), were taken out of service due to their high fuel consumption. The new direct flights could become a new possibility for airlines to compete with Middle East carriers offering stop-over flights via their Middle East hubs. Especially, business travelers could be interested in the new connection.

Qantas commenced flights on the Kangaroo Route from Australia to London in 1947. At that time the aircraft made seven stops and the journey took over four days.

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