Qantas has revealed its new inflight menu onboard its upcoming Perth-Rome direct flights, ahead of their launch later this month.
Business class passengers aboard the flights to Rome will see an “Italian-inspired” menu curated by Neil Perry paired with Italian wine varietals – made of Australian grapes.
According to Qantas, passengers will be offered “regional recipes”, including prawn spaghettini, zucchini and basil soup, grilled fish with peperonata, pine nuts and basil, as well as traditional tiramisu for dessert.
The new menu will also be rolled out across selected Qantas First and business class lounges from 2 June, with dishes such as fettuccine bolognese, buffalo mozzarella with heirloom tomatoes and basil, and mascarpone tartlets.
Qantas’ creative director of food, beverage and service Neil Perry said the dishes were inspired by his own travels to Italy.
“I first travelled to Italy in 1984 and immediately understood why people fall in love with simple Italian food,” he said.
“Italians live and breathe seasonality and freshness, so it was important when designing these menu items that we respected and celebrated the traditions of the cuisine and Rome’s deep history.
“Italian food is so much more than pizza and pasta, although they do both brilliantly, but they celebrate the hero ingredients of their country including citrus, olives, fresh seafood and tomatoes.”
Meanwhile, Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said Australians are gearing up for their first European summer in two years.
“Our customers love Italy and we’re delighted to be sharing these dining experiences across our lounges in June in addition to launching an Italian-inspired business class menu for our Perth–Rome service.
“So even for those travelling through our domestic business lounges, there is a little bit of Italiano inspo to whet their appetite for international travel.”
It comes as Qantas prepares for the launch of its new route from Perth to Rome on 22 June, with QF5 scheduled to operate three times per week initially. The airline said this flight is the only direct service between Australia and mainland Europe.
It also comes just weeks after the first Qantas non-stop flight between Perth and London took off for the first time in over two years late last month.
The popular Perth-London route has been on pause since the beginning of the pandemic, with Qantas opting to shift the layover from eastern states headed to London from Perth to Darwin due to WA’s “conservative border policies”.
“With one of our flagship London routes heading back to Perth and the Rome take-off just around the corner, it’s clear that Western Australia is back on the international travel map,” a Qantas spokesperson said.
“We know that Western Australians love our direct flight to the UK and we’re seeing huge demand on these services already. It’s also terrific news for UK passengers who can stop off and enjoy all that the west coast has to offer.”
Meanwhile, the airline’s QF1 route, which operates from Sydney-Singapore-London on the airline’s flagship A380 aircraft, will resume from 19 June, meaning Darwin will no longer operate as an entry or exit port for Qantas flights to London.
“We are proud to welcome this important connection back to Western Australia,” Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said earlier this month.
“This direct route between Perth and London made history when it was first launched, and along with the upcoming Perth to Rome route, its early return firmly positions WA as Australia’s western gateway to Europe.
“Re-establishing international and interstate flight routes is a key part of our $195 million Reconnect WA package, and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors from Europe back to WA safely, through these direct services.”
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Roger Cook said the UK is a “key visitor market” for WA and welcomed the early return of direct flights from Perth.
“The two direct connections from Perth to London and Rome will provide a huge boost in the number of visitors coming to WA from Europe, which will create more jobs in our tourism, entertainment and hospitality industries, and inject millions into our state’s economy.
“This is yet another sign of confidence that WA is open for business and open for tourism.
“We strongly encourage our European friends to take advantage of these direct services to come to Western Australia, visit family and friends, and most importantly, Wander out Yonder into our regions and explore all the incredible attractions our state has to offer.”