Qantas plans “game-changing” Perth-London 787-9 services in March 2018

An artist's impression of the Boeing 787-9 in Qantas livery. (Qantas)
An artist’s impression of the Boeing 787-9 in Qantas livery. (Qantas)

Australia will have regular nonstop scheduled passenger services to Europe for the first time in 2018, with Qantas to launch Perth-London with the Boeing 787-9.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the 17-hour, 7,829nm Perth-London service would be a “game-changing route flown by a game-changing aircraft” with huge opportunities for travel tourism and trade.

“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,” Joyce said in a statement on Sunday.

Perth Airport said in a statement Terminal 3 would be upgraded to be able to handle international flights, paving the way for Qantas to start operating one of the world’s longest international routes from March 2018.

The West Australian government was also contributing $14 million towards the cost of reconfiguring Terminal 3, Perth Airport said, which will need to have customs and border processing facilities for international flights.

“The direct flight is an exciting opportunity for Perth Airport, Qantas and Western Australia in the development of Perth as a Western Hub and a gateway to the United Kingdom,” Perth Airport chief executive Kevin Brown said.

“Perth Airport and Qantas will work to ensure that the T3 facilities are upgraded to allow for commencement of the direct flight to London from 2018.”

Currently, Qantas flies daily from both Melbourne and Sydney to London via Dubai with the A380. It is the airline’s only online destination in Europe, with the rest of the continent served via codeshares on its alliance partner Emirates through Dubai. (Qantas also has a codeshare in place with fellow oneworld member Finnair for Helsinki, which Emirates does not serve.)

And with airfares down amid intense competition on the Australia-Europe market, Joyce described Qantas’s London operations as a “challenge” during the company’s annual general meeting in Sydney on October 21.

“I have to say London is a challenge because you have over 30 carriers operating on that market and we have extremely low airfares,” Joyce said in response to a shareholder question.

“That’s one of the reasons we are considering an operation like Perth-London. If we can make it work out of Perth that is a way of actually having a very good operation we believe into London.”

Joyce said on Sunday modelling by the airline showed “people from the East Coast as well as South Australia would fly domestically to Perth to connect to our non-stop London service”.

Meanwhile, he said “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”.

Qantas is due to take delivery of the first of eight 787-9s on firm order in October 2017.

It is configuring its 787-9s with 236 seats, comprising 42 business class seats (in a 1-2-1 configuration), 28 premium economy seats (at 2-3-2 abreast) and 166 economy seats (at nine abreast).

Boeing lists the 787-9 as having a range of 7,635nm when carrying 290 passengers in a two-class configuration, while a Qantas fact sheet released at the time of the seating configuration promotes a range of 14,400km – or 7,775nm.

An illustration of Qantas's Boeing 787-9 cabin. (Qantas)
An illustration of Qantas’s 787-9 cabin. (Qantas)

Joyce said at the official reveal of the 787-9 seating configuration the aircraft would be able to fly the likes of Perth-London Heathrow (7,829nm), Melbourne-Dallas/Fort Worth (7,814nm) and Sydney-Chicago (8,022nm).

“So we’ve modelled all of the routes, we know what the loads can be on it, we know the restrictions in parts of the year,” Joyce said on October 27.

“As you can imagine sometimes the winds are heavy and like on our Sydney-Dallas service parts of the year we can’t take a full load. That’s fine because the economics superbly work for the entire year. The lower seat configuration does help us with some of the routes that we are looking at.”

Currently, Perth Airport’s Terminals 1 and 2, on the eastern side of the airfield, handle all international flights, as well as Virgin Australia, Alliance, Tigerair Australia and Regional Express domestic flights.

Meanwhile, Qantas and Jetstar’s domestic flights operate out of Terminals 3 and 4 on the western side of the airfield.

Perth Airport has said previously it hoped to eventually have all flights operating from the eastern side of the airfield some time in the next decade.

However, Qantas has been keen to have the ultra long-haul Perth-London flight operate out of Terminal 3 to avoid the need for a bus transfer across the airport, potentially impacting on minimum connection times, the passenger experience, and ultimately the prospect of the route being successful.

To that end, Perth Airport said Qantas has made an “in-principal agreement” to move all of its domestic and international services to a new terminal on the eastern side of the airfield by 31 December 2025, as part of the arrangement to upgrade Terminal 3 for international service.

“Perth Airport looks forward to working with Qantas to ensure the opportunities from this exciting proposal are realised and that the significant investments already made and proposed to be made at the airport support the long-term sustainability of the new service and future routes,” Brown said.

“The agreement ensures that the overall customer experience at Perth Airport is not diminished particularly for the 4.3 million passengers processed every year through the existing Terminal 1 (T1) International.”

Qantas said the move across to the eastern side of the airfield was “pending a commercial agreement”.

The airlines existing international flights from Perth to Singapore and (seasonal service) to Auckland would also move to Terminal 3, from Terminal 1 currently, Qantas said.

WA Premier Colin Barnett said it was an “appropriate funding contribution by the Government”.

“The State Government played an intermediary role in negotiations and our contribution is based on border control, quarantine and immigration services at T3 being an interim measure with Qantas committing to relocate to the international terminal T1 by 2025,” Barnett said.

“Today’s announcement is fantastic for West Australians with the non-stop service making travel to the UK more appealing and over time it is expected it will open up the potential for direct routes to and from other European cities.”

Tickets for the Perth-London flights would go on sale from April 2017.

Current longest nonstop passenger flights by distance (nautical miles)

1. Delhi-San Francisco (8,159nm*) operated by Air India with Boeing 777-200LR (*Pacific Ocean routing eastwards from Delhi only)
2. Dubai-Auckland (7,668nm) – operated by Emirates with Boeing 777-200LR (Airbus A380 from October 30)
3. Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth (7,454nm) – operated by Qantas with Airbus A380
4. San Francisco-Singapore (7,339nm) – operated by United with Boeing 787-9 and Singapore Airlines with Airbus A350-900
5. Atlanta-Johannesburg (7,333nm) – operated by Delta with Boeing 777-200LR
6. Abu Dhabi-Los Angeles (7,291nm) – operated by Etihad with Boeing 777-200LR
7. Dubai-Los Angeles (7,246nm) – operated by Emirates with Airbus A380
8. Jeddah-Los Angeles (7,240nm) – operated by Saudia with Boeing 777-300ER

Planned future routes

1. Singapore-New York (Newark*) (8,285nm)– to be operated by Singapore Airlines with Airbus A350-900ULR. From 2018. (*Airport choice not confirmed)
2. Doha-Auckland (7,848nm) – to be operated by Qatar Airways with Boeing 777-200LR. From February 5 2017.
3. Perth-London (Heathrow*) (7,829nm) – to be operated by Qantas with Boeing 787-9. From 2018. (*Airport choice not confirmed)
4. Singapore-Los Angeles (7,621nm) – to be operated by Singapore Airlines with Airbus A350-900ULR. From 2018

Speculated future routes

1. Sydney-New York (JFK) (8,646nm) – Qantas
2. Sydney-Chicago (ORD) (8,022nm) – Qantas
3. Melbourne-Dallas/Fort Worth (7,814nm) – Qantas
4. Doha-Santiago (7,791nm) – Qatar Airways

Comments

  1. Mark T says

    Great to see direct flights to Europe. Diversion options into Perth for the return flight could be interesting though…I’m guessing the closest divert will be Learmonth.
    Perhaps aside from all the money being spent on terminals it’s time to leave some funding for an upgrade to a CATIII runway at Perth.

  2. J Boy says

    Meanwhile at Virgin Australia passengers will be boarding a dirty A330 to Abu Dhabi with complimentary meal in a cardboard box. While pilots sleep in business class because there’s no crew rest.

  3. Emirates777 says

    Not really. Virgin australia passengers have the option of flying on etihad or singapore airlines one stop to london. Both airlines are light years ahead of qantas in terms of service. Plus transit via perth or singapore? Easy choice for most.

  4. Luke says

    This is great hopefully, qantas can begin using Perth as a HUB for more flights International, I agree that London might be far, but if this works it opens the door to much more for Australia

  5. Rodney Marinkovic says

    Great news for all of as who preffering ultra long destinations.
    Naturally, Qantas is most favorablle carrier. Where ewer is posiblle.
    Looking forward for so long waiting oppotunity…
    Rodney.
    Home of Qantasville II. Serbia

  6. John Ruming says

    Still one stop for most Australians. As the greatest percentage of potential pax reside on the East coast it remains to be seen whether people are willing to fly via Perth. And Qantas is only good for LHR, Emirates has a massive European network.

  7. Jacob says

    Why are people so negative about this, it’s more choice for consumers, so what’s the big deal, let them have ago at making it work, it could be the best thing ever. And not everyone wants to fly on gulf carriers until now when all of a sudden everybody wants to. People complain for no reason at all

  8. George says

    17 hours in a 787 in a 17 inch wide seat in 3-3-3 economy. Especially in the middle seat. Sounds like a version of hell that I’ll be avoiding thanks when there are other one stop options from the east coast that give another precious inch of seat width.

    Why why why Qantas if you are going to use the 787 for endurance routes like this wouldn’t you stick with 8 across in the 787 and give your customers that bit more comfort and differentiate your 787’s from your Jetstar cousins and the like.

  9. AJT Aviation says

    Qantas’s main focus for a Perth hub shouldn’t be for flights to Europe but rather flights to Africa such as PER-CPT/HRE/JNB/ADD, they’d see a lot of connecting traffic from MEL/BNE which don’t have a direct Africa link on Qantas

  10. Peter says

    What if the plan is not to increase the capacity to London but to slightly reduce it? The current MEL-DXB-LHR route could route MEL-PER-LHR and both the Melbourne and Sydney to London flights would use 787’s. That would cut an hour (?) off the Melbourne-London route and eliminate the traffic issues that flight has into Dubai from time to time. Not sure what to do with the surplus A380’s. Perhaps base them in Dubai to fly routes into Europe that are capacity constrained for Emirates?

  11. Grant says

    I still maintain the country would be better off with an international hub at Broome, fed by domestic connections from the east coast or simply used for technical stops. It’s 500 miles closer to London than Perth.

  12. Keep it real says

    Emirites 777 I don’t know how you figure Ethihad and Singapore are light years ahead of Qantas in service. I travel on this route to London regularly. What I’ve found is Qantas have a warm engaging and genuine feel in their service delivery, the rest and I do mean the rest are go through the motion cardboard (lacking personality) service deliverers….

    That’s like comparing McDonalds to a quality restaurant – there is no comparison.

    You can dine at McDonalds all you like if you consider that service; I’ll take the restaurant with experience (Qantas) with all its personalities, occasional flaws and good service over any cardboard, robotic (Ethihad, in particular Singapore) any day of the week.

  13. John says

    17 hours in 3 3 3 down the back . This is just Jetstar with a red tail . 2 4 2 would be more salable and the slightly reduced seat count would lower the overall weight and increase the range . Less chance of limiting payload in adverse conditions .

  14. Jessta says

    Great if you can afford the pointy end or even possibly premium economy, but 3-3-3 in the 787 is shocking even on shorter long-haul routes, never lone 17 hours. If they were really hoping to make this work then it would be a Business / Premium Economy fit out only for this flight on the 787. They keep saying this aircraft is a “”game changer!”” Certainly not for passenger comfort in cattle class.

  15. random says

    Qantas is quickly turning into a virtual airline – with the only new routes into the Western Hemisphere being those into English speaking countries (UK and USA), like Perth/London LHR or Sydney/Chicago ORD.

    The majority of its remaining international network is codeshare using other airline’s metal, and is certainly a shadow of its previous self.

    I wonder how long it is before we see an airline that actually doesn’t have any physical aircraft assets at all, and has no flying staff, not even a chief pilot – functioning only through buying services on other airlines’ networks. No high-skill maintenance problems with complex machines or unionised staff, no fuel price / OECD fluctuations to hedge against, and no pesky pilots wanting “unreasonable” pay for gaining and maintaining complex professional knowledge and keeping flights safe at all hours in all conditions. Defer all problems to other carriers!

  16. Alpha141 says

    I flew return from Sydney to SFO on to Seattle from a red eye Adelaide to Sydney (change terminals also) and flew the United 787-9 in economy early September this year. I am 6’1. I chose it for the increased cabin pressure for the long 15hr approx leg over the Pacific. We also had turbulence pretty much the entire way too. It was amazing.

    The thing was. We left Sydney at about 11am. After a lunch and 2.5hrs in the switched the entire cabin into a night config. Overwrote the electronic window dimmers. Lighting as if it was middle of the night. Very quiet though like the A380. It for me and what i witnessed, set everyone up for a morning arrival at San Francisco. In spite of the turbulence. I personally felt very good at US customs which was tough after going then about 20hrs.

    Adelaide has Qatar with the a350 with similar cabin higher pressure technology which is making longer flights less physically demanding. I would really look at this new option personally. The one big hit is actually better to me as after that mentioned flight this will be my ideal going forth. Less disruption for one area to have a decent rest if i need it.

    From the market perspective, it gives Qantas a variable no one else has. This beats the market entirely. It will be a marker that the market has to catch up for. I haven’t seen it mentioned or contemplated as yet but I wonder if Frankfurt is also a possibility? Frankfurt is a major European hub. That would allow service to this area also direct to Aus. I don’t have the tech savvy nature of flights etc to determine if it is even possible. But would be worth looking at for sure if it is. Congratulations to Qantas today. I don’t always like Alan and always fly on them. I would be interested from Adelaide on this however. Today is their day though.

    A

  17. Platinum traveller not willing to be tormented like this says

    Who wants to go through a baggage claim twice on the one journey? On the return journey passengers will have to collect their baggage then be processed through customs in Perth and then do a baggage drop again and finally, if only one more flight, have to get their baggage again. Then there are the connecting flights which are not that many from Perth to the Eastern a States. Now these already full flights will probably gave no space on them at all. And Qantas thinks this is going to be better for their customers???? Come on Qantas get real!

  18. Vannus says

    To Roman…….

    Aren’t you aware DRW’s a MILITARY Airport?
    Not that good as a hub for an Airline, therefore.

  19. Tyron says

    This could potentially be a hit for New Zealanders heading to London, many of us already endure a 2 stop service via Australia, they just need year round (ideally 787) connections to Auckland and Christchurch to genuinely compete with Air NZ…

  20. Phil Cl says

    Seat Pitch , seat pitch 🙁 No way from this little brown duck . . Although agree QF Service is more genuine and probably Safer than many of the alternatives Per- BKK – EU makes to me more sense and the Comments about Frankfurt in my opinion are spot on . Of course can not find on the web what cattle class seats Qantas will be fitting . After suffering Emirates 777 cattle class seats and the horrors of cranky Dubai NEVER AGAIN The tie up with Finair mentioned also makes sense if Per BKK is looked at . Finair is a wonderful carrier and has been for decades
    The above notwithstanding good move by Qantas . Risks Service ethics and standards of WA Hotels etc and the at times (by comparison ) most expensive in oz incl Sydney . $7.00 for a coffee in some places and $ 20 for a beer . WA Tourism WILL/MUST get with commercial reality . As well as retail Think shopping hours and transport especially on weekends

  21. says

    My luck would be middle seat, “person of size” on my right and my left and crying kids front and behind. For 17+ hours.
    Don’t think so.

  22. Murray Howlett says

    Would Perth to South America and Sydney to South Africa direct also be options?
    Would there be any advantage in Alice Springs being an Australian hub (assuming runway length was sufficient) given its centrality?

  23. Adrian P says

    Broome /Port Hedland hub is the way to go.
    Pouring money into infrastructure for congested capital cities what a waste.

    I take it that Perth T3 changes will include airside baggage reclaim. Why new domestic terminals in Australia do not follow worlds best practice for security and have airside baggage reclaim I just do not know?

  24. Stuart says

    What is the fascination with 787. All I seem to read is complaints about Y on these birds. QF need to have a product differential with these #1 routes. 2+4+2 with 34″ or 35″ in Y maybe but definitely not 3+3+3 at 32″.

    I’ll stick with the QR A350 ex ADL thank you, plus on the return no baggage collection until ADL.

    Relevantly, why can’t QF do the same as Air Canada in YVR for flights ex Australia. If connecting from the SYD/YVR flight to domestic AC, luggage is cleared through to final Canadian destination. No pick up and drop off. Left my bags in ADL and didn’t see them again until Calgary.

  25. Craigy says

    @ Random – two new routes in 2017 will be Sydney – Beijing and Melbourne – Narita. Last time I checked, neither English speaking western countries.

    @Platinum If you fly into Australia at any international airport and then flying domestic, you have to collect your bags and clear customs, then check them through to destination.

    @AJT Qantas used to codeshare with South African who service the Perth – Jo-burg route with an A340-600. I thinkVirgin flew the route once but because of the two engines had to fly further north increasing the flight time due to ETOPS

  26. Aubrey says

    Make no mistake, non-stop flights from Australia to Europe have been a long held aviation dream, and for my home town to be the jumping off point is very cool and a source of parochial pride.

    But let’s look at how this dream is being fulfilled. Essentially Alan Joyce has to town and started shouting that if Qantas doesn’t get financial support to provide international facilities at their PER domestic terminals he’ll take his Boeing 787 and go home.

    Has he provided any real figures regarding the numbers of pax expected to transfer from domestic QF flights (either local or interstate) to/from the LHR flights? Are there details of what re-configuration of gates and aerobridges at T3/T4 will be required to enable this “seamless’ transfer between domestic and international flights? And why wouldn’t using T1 work?

    Then to top it off our gullible Premier has given QF $14M for capital works at T3/T4 in the expectation that this flight will drive a significant increase in visitors to Perth and WA. Er, hang on; if he expects the B787 pax to stay here for some time then the “seamless” international to domestic transfer will not be required. They can arrive at T1 with all the other international services and then depart from T3/T4 some days later. You were conned big time Colin.

    All this is done is enable QF to delay moving all their ops to the T1 precinct (especially the QF SIN and JQ DSP services also move to T3/T4) by a decade, which screws the medium term viability of the airport master plan; and confirms that Joyce is a business bully.

  27. Aubrey says

    Mark T – Cat III runway upgrades were undertaken this year, and if not finished by now, almost are.

  28. Tony says

    Virgin could trump this by starting virgin Atlantic A340-600 direct flights London to Perth with low density seating and 4 engines for the long over water section. Use the existing international terminal with easy transfer to virgin Australia. The A340’s are becoming spare as virgin change over to 787’s. Could start immediately. No large investment and can test demand with no loss. Even better lease some A340-500’s just sitting waiting at Airbus.
    Re the terminals, Perth plan a new runway to the east and expanded t1 and t2 become sensible centre located terminals. Understand why they did not wish to spend on t3 which will probably be just. FIFO terminal.

  29. ESLowe says

    Looks like it’s the era of the BIG Twins…4 engines planes seemed to have had their day. The A380 seems to have been by-passed.and Boeing made the best bet after all in going for a smaller plane. I supposed the only 747-8 we’ll see will be a pair of Air Force Ones.

  30. Riplander says

    @Keep it real says

    Funny how you mention SQ as having ‘McDonalds’-like service, whilst QF has ‘restaurant’ service. I guess that’s why QF sweeps up all the awards for the best cabin staff and service. Oh wait a minute.

    P.S. Flown QF twice (within the past 12 months) and I didn’t experience any of the warm genuine service that you speak so highly of. Maybe because it was a red-eye flight but the cabin crew were anything but receptive. Don’t know much about Etihad so I can’t comment there, but I think I’ll stick with SQ for their world-renowned service.

  31. Anil Kattula says

    One point that has been forgotten is Perth has a reputation for weather closures! What is going to be the alternate airport? Does 787 have range to fly LHR – PER, hold, then divert to Learmonth? Qantas needs to go back to hubbing in Singapore. It worked well and was popular with passengers! Hub there and and use 787 to serve Europe.

  32. says

    Interesting move by Qantas but fairly predictable. With their order of just 8 787-900 aircraft this routing YPPH to EGLL is going to require 3 of the aircraft, although I could see the flight potentially starting in YPAD to YPPH as a Domestic flight. As the first aircraft arrives now in early October and the second not till first week in December with the third rumoured to be in January 2018, that means some proving flights first then the launch of the route in March. If you then assume the second route is YMML to KDFW then KDFW to YBBN and return that means a 4 and 3 flights sequence return taking up another 3 airframes. That leaves just two airframes to do YSSY to KORD which is just right.. So it looks like any other suggestions will only be possible proving flights destinations and we are unlikely to see any more routes (based on the current published 787 order lists much before 2019 at the earliest.

    What amazes me though is the constant rhetoric about the need to prove the economies of the 787-900 aircraft before ordering more aircraft . Surely with over 500 787 aircraft now in full service including the airframes flying around with Jetstar, you would have thought that Qantas has ample knowledge and experience with the aircraft to confidently place more orders.

  33. Craigy says

    @ Anil

    You keep talking of this hubbing in Singapore. To hub in Singapore reduces the options of QF passengers travelling to Europe, Middle East and Africa. The tie up with Emirates massively offers connections to other destinations Qantas could not offer through Singapore even using the B787. At best you would fly to London and then change to BA to fly to other European destinations. Takes more time and more expensive.

  34. Craigy says

    @ Andrew Ferguson. I hadn’t thought of the Brisbane – Dallas route but it makes sense and in that the CEO of Brisbane Airport mentioned it recently in an interview. So there has probably been discussions with Qantas. Also, starting in Adelaide, thats a possibility but from what Qantas has said, it seems people from Adelaide will have to catch an existing domestic flight to connect.

    I have been thinking about the proving flights in that Qantas has said the first route will be an existing service, I first thought that the San Francisco QF73/74 would be ideal. But now the seating plan has been announced, the seating numbers in total are more in line with an A332. So by replacing the B744 with 350 odd with a B789 would amount to removing seats from the market by approximately 1368 per week on the current schedule of 6 days per week. So at a guess, maybe a more appropriate route would be the daily QF5/6 to Sydney – Singapore route. But we will see when they make the announcement.

    As for orders. The options Qantas has on order have preplanned delivery dates so there will be dates by where Qantas has to confirm as an order or not. When these dates approach, I am sure Qantas will take up the options. As for the economics, I think they are probably referring to the economics of the seat plan they have modelled for the markets they intend to enter.

  35. Bill says

    It’s quite probable that the talked about routing of MEL-PER-LHR will be entirely international, such as the DFW flight was from BNE to SYD when the 747 still operated it, those boarding in Melbourne do so at the international terminal, and transit in Perth like any other airport, those coming from Adelaide or Perth etc go through immigration etc in Perth. Don’t see why this cannot work.

  36. Ronsie says

    Love reading all the comments guys – good and bad – and I’m about to add to them.
    I’m surprised no one has brought up the A350ULR option for QF. Airbus quote 19 hours endurance for this aircraft and, assuming that’s with a full load, or close to it, the game changer is really Sydney-New York. Many other city pairs come into play also. Airbus’ 18in seats overcome many of the objections to the 787 3-3-3 seating in cattle class. Does QF still hold orders/options on the A380? Maybe switch these to the A350ULR? This would be a pain from a fleet perspective though (or transfer the 787s to Jetstar).
    Regardless, these new long range twins give QF and all other airlines some great options…..

  37. mike9 says

    WOW welcome to the seventies, all the young people going to London. The little anglophiles will be so pleased . I really wonder about Qantas and their future direction . the chinese market is growing at over 30 percent per year and yet they have gotten so excited about a service that will barely break even. The loadings will have to be at the top end , and very little additional weight will be able to be carried. to give maximum range against headwinds.
    Hang on, isn’t southeast Asia our biggest tourist market now inbound and outbound.?? fuel is going up , Qantas is still hanging on to old 747’s .and profit projections are going down rapidly. lets see what happens after 12 months .

  38. Eggrith says

    @anil
    I have never heared of Perth airport being closed due to weather, in fact, we have vfr weather almost all of the time, with only 3 or 4 days a year when conditions are even imc, hence why Singapore uses jandakot for training.

  39. Anil Kattula says

    Eggrith,
    I Worked for ATC for 20 years. Perth regularly has conditions that require an alternate with nearest for internationals being Learmonth. Usually aircraft hold till weather clears at Perth but this won’t be possible with flights LHR -Perth due fuel. FYI Lax -Melbourne flights get priority due fuel and regularly have to land in Sydney for fuel lif wweather dicey in Melbourne. Many actually plan lax-syd then ammend destination to Melbourne enroute. Qantas will have issue meeting alternate requirements at Perth ex London. Expect regular refueling stop enroute!

  40. Tony says

    Fuel diversions would not be needed for the A350ulr or the A340-500 both of which could go direct to Adelaide, and certainly Perth with full load including cargo. Some years back, Airbus placed massive billboards at Sydney airport urging Qantas to consider the then XWB twin jet but Qantas went 787. Maybe they could have been an all Airbus airline and saved on parts and training.
    Re weather diversions from Perth, is RAAF Pearce suitable? It’s not far bur has long runways.

  41. Dave says

    This is a great move and will have awesome benefits for both Qantas and Perth. Aside from the regular Qantas bashing, which must be our national sport by now, this could really start the development of Perth as the western gateway to Australia.

    The direct benefits for Perthlings are obvious, a single ~17hr flight direct rather than 11+7 and up to 5 hrs hanging around at Dubai. Sure you might get some cabin fever towards the end but you’ll be landing that morning into LHR. And the return leg, well you’re home. And surely a direct flight into Oz will attract tourists and Brexiters alike. For those of you who haven’t noticed, WA is beautiful, has amazing weather, and IMO the coffee is better than Melbourne without all the traffic fumes (sorry liveable city lovers!). So tourists will stop off in either/both directions.

    Those up the front will be fine for 17hrs, and that’s where the route will make its $$$. The few people in the middle seats will probably hate it, but only for 2 hours more than SYD-Dubai already. Myself, I’ll choose a different seat, or pay for premium.

    But I think the whole country will benefit as this concept rolls out to other European cities, they’ve mentioned Germany and France already, maybe others, and maybe even African and Sub-continent destinations come into the picture. If these destinations take-off, then more flights to eastern capitals are required, and we all know business travellers love frequency. So the benefits lead to more benefits.

    And I like the thought of QF consolidating on one side of the airfield. Two non-chaotic terminals in Perth sounds pretty good to me.

    Well done to all involved in achieving this outcome.

  42. Marc, Gold Coast says

    Game changer for Perth, but no one else. We can do one stop to UK already.. at much better airports!