Qantas London – Perth Direct Starting March 2018

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Qantas made an announcement on Sunday that the airline would start direct service between London Heathrow and Perth in Western Australia in March 2018 using Boeing 787-900.


Qantas currently serves London via Dubai from both Sydney and Melbourne. Previously, the airline connected Australia and Europe via points in Asia.


The route once started will be the one of the longest non-stop flights exceeding the current Emirates service between Dubai and Auckland but shorter than Qatar’s Doha – Auckland that should start shortly

Here’s the press release from Qantas:

Shortest and fastest version of the Kangaroo Route in its 70 year history
– First direct link between Australia and Europe, using WA as a hub
– Qantas Dreamliner designed to offer improved comfort on long haul flights

Qantas is set to add to its list of aviation firsts, with the national carrier confirming it will operate non-stop flights from Perth to London using the 787-9 Dreamliner.

The 14,498 kilometre service will be the first regular passenger service to directly link Australia with Europe when it begins in March 2018.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the history-making route would be a watershed for travel, tourism and trade.

“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.

“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.”

Mr Joyce said passenger comfort on the long flight was a key consideration.

“When we designed the interior of our 787s, we wanted to make sure passengers would be comfortable on the extended missions the aircraft was capable of.

“That’s why 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 on-board service to help reduce jetlag,” he added.

The enhanced Qantas cabin design is in addition to the comfort factors that Boeing built in to the Dreamliner – improved air quality, lower cabin noise and technology to reduce turbulence.

Mr Joyce said the direct route is expected to appeal to travellers on the East Coast as well as West Australians, helping to deliver a tourism boost.

“A direct flight makes travelling to Australia a much more attractive proposition to millions of people. We expect many travellers from Europe will start their time in Australia with a visit to Perth before going on to see other parts of the country.

“Our modelling shows that people from the East Coast as well as South Australia would fly domestically to Perth to connect to our non-stop London service. Some will take the opportunity to break their journey, whether it’s for business meetings in Perth, to holiday or to visit family.”

The new flight will operate through Qantas’ existing domestic terminals (T3/4), which will be upgraded to accommodate international flights. The airline’s current international services from Perth (to Singapore and to Auckland) will also move to this terminal, helping to simplify the journey for thousands of people every year. Qantas will move its operations to an expanded Terminal 1 at Perth Airport by 2025, pending a commercial agreement.

“We’ll be looking at the timing of our domestic flights through Perth to offer the best connections we can to our international flights, particularly given they will all be under the one roof,” added Mr Joyce.

“I’d like to acknowledge the support of the West Australian Government and Perth Airport in helping make this service a reality.”

Seats on the Perth-London flights will go on sale in April 2017 for the first services in March 2018. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners used on the route will carry 236 passengers across Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.


– The 14,498km flight will take approximately 17 hours (slightly more or less depending on winds).
– When it launches, is expected to be the third-longest passenger flight in the world.
– Longest flight on the Qantas network, followed by our non-stop A380 Sydney-Dallas service (13,730km).
– Will be the longest Boeing Dreamliner flight in the world.
– The first regular passenger service from Australia to Europe adds to Qantas’ list of flying firsts, including:

o First passenger jet services across the Pacific in 1959 with a B707.
o First (and only) non-stop passenger flight from London to Sydney in 1989 with a B747-400.
o First to operate the world’s largest passenger aircraft (A380) on the world’s longest route (Sydney-Dallas) in 2014.

– Perth was also used as a stopover on flights to London between the 1940s and 1960s.
– In 2015, Qantas operated a one-off B747-400 charter flight from Perth to Istanbul to take Australians to the Centenary of Anzac at Gallipoli – the last time the national carrier flew from Australia to Europe non-stop.


A lot can happen in 15 months and who knows what the price of oil and the state of economies in Australia and UK are then.

The service would rely on connecting traffic to/from Perth. London’s position in Europe and the state of Heathrow for connections is not ideal for transit outside of the UK and Ireland.

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  • kempvet

    Makes little sense to me. From the East Coast you have to stop at PER anyway for the PER to LHR flight, so why not simply transit through the Middle East where it is one stop to just about anywhere in Europe including LHR.

    • Guest

      Suspect there’s some incentive being provided by the Perth/West Australian government/Perth airport.

      • To my understanding they were paying an incentive to Qantas to open this route.

    • David Stevenson

      Perhaps Qantas is preparing for the day when they can dump Emirates as a partner and restart direct European flights with longer range aircraft.

      Emirates survives in the Australian market largely because aircraft must stop on the way to Europe to refuel.

      We are a few years away yet

    • The transit in Middle East is not always the most pleasant (done it many many times). If someone’s origin or destination is in London, then this route makes sense.

    • Belle Fitz

      It’s a matter of choice I guess. Layover in Asia, Middle East or Perth. I’ve only done it via Singapore but if possible, I would fly via Hong Kong (even tokyo) or Middle East next time I fly to London from Sydney until Perth becomes an option at which point I probably won’t be living in Sydney…

  • Patrick

    I look forward to it. If this is at a competitive fare, count me in. I’d rather have the one long flight than a stop off at one of the ME3 bases.

  • toxicair8

    I would be interested to understand the ETOPS and diversionary’s for this route / aircraft as it covers alot of ocean ?

  • Harry Webb

    It is extremely specious of Irishman Joyce to claim that this proposed service is a descendant of the Kangaroo Route.

    Read your history Al.

    The Kangaroo Route, and its predecessor were not in any way associated with Perth. Missed that small city by well over a thousand miles. The Kangaroo route had absolutely nothing to do with Western Australia.

    Qantas first used the term Kangaroo Route in 1947 after the enforced move of the airline’s headquarters from Brisbane to Sydney, but the service was really inaugurated in 1935 as a joint venture between Imperial (UK, one of the predecessors of BA) and Qantas, when the service from Australia to England started from Brisbane – not Sydney. Not at all surprising if you know that the Q in Qantas stands for Queensland, where the airline began and where it prospered to the point that it was nationalised by a socialist government led by the New South Welshman Ben Chifley – now there’s a surprise that a New South Welshman led the charge to nationalise a successful Queensland company – in 1947 and had its headquarters forcibly moved from Brisbane to Sydney.

    Now, of course Qantas, under Joyce, has almost abandoned its home city and state, and the farthest you may fly on a Qantas aeroplane towards London from Brisbane is Singapore. I very much doubt that Joyce knows that Queensland exists, let alone that the airline he nominally heads it is where it became so successful that it was taken over by Chifley’s Labor government. Yet Qantas is about to provide a non-stop service from the smaller city of Perth, capital of a state with about half the population of Queensland, where Qantas began. Yes Al, Qantas did not begin on the foreshore of Sydney Harbour; it exists today because Queenslanders made it viable.

    It may be useful for Sydney and Melbourne residents to travel via Perth instead of via the Middle East, but of course Qantas provides a one-stop service for them anyway, a service it fails to provide to Brisbane, where Qantas was incorporated after its beginning in Queensland’s western towns. One may fly from Sydney or Melbourne, on Qantas aircraft, one stop to London via the Middle East, but not from Brisbane; only Etihad and Emirates provide this service to the nation’s third-largest city, and then at a premium.

    Yet Qantas is about to provide the small population of Western Australia with a non-stop service to London, but no service at all to London to the twice-as-many people of Queensland, the home of the airline? People from every other state and capital city in Australia, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide will be able to fly to London – from Perth non-stop for goodness sake ! – on a Qantas aircraft, while the state and capital city which started it all, Queensland and Brisbane, can get only as far as Singapore?