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Qantas to fly ultra-long-haul service to Paris

written by Adam Thorn | October 30, 2023

The Boeing 787-9, VH ZND msn 63390, departs Perth on 18 October, bound for London to repatriate Australians during COVID-19. Credit: Richard Kreider

Qantas will fly a new direct service between Perth and Paris from July next year.

The long-rumoured new 787 route will operate four times per week during the peak European season before reducing to three times weekly from mid-August.

It follows the extraordinary success of its direct route from WA to Rome, which last year became one of the most successful services in Qantas’ history, with 98 per cent of seats full.

Qantas will be the only airline in the world to fly direct between Australia and France, and the route will mark its latest ‘ultra-long-haul’ destination using its recently expanded 787 fleet.

The return will also mark the Flying Kangaroo’s first commercial flight to France in almost two decades.


Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson said, “Our direct flights to London and Rome have been hugely popular, and Paris is the next most-requested destination, so we know the demand for this service will be strong as well.

“Some of the first customers on these flights will be Australian athletes heading to Paris to compete at the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“We’re the only airline offering these direct flights rather than going through a mid-point because the key market we serve is Australia. Our in-flight service is designed with long-haul travel in mind.

“The schedule we’ve announced today will add more than 75,000 seats between Australia and Europe each year, and we’ll be working with Tourism WA to help make the most of the opportunity to bring tourists here, knowing that direct flights are a big factor in people deciding where to travel.”

The Paris service will also offer customers another option for connecting to more than 70 destinations across the region, including Barcelona, Munich, Frankfurt and Athens, and 12 destinations within France through Qantas’ network of partners.

Like its Rome service, customers will be able to pick and choose which European country they depart and return from on one ticket, allowing them to mix and match between its three destinations.

Qantas now hopes to increase its international capacity to above 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year and return to 100 per cent by the middle of next.

It comes as the airline is in the middle of a major domestic, international and freight fleet renewal that will open up the possibility of new routes.

Internationally, Qantas will receive 12 new 787 Dreamliners and 12 Airbus A350s to replace the bulk of its ageing A330 fleet, alongside a separate order for 12 specially adapted A350-1000 jets to launch Project Sunrise.

Domestically, the airline will purchase 20 Airbus A321XLRs and 29 A220-300s to fly its domestic routes, but with the option to buy many more.

Subsidiary brand Jetstar has already begun welcoming its new fleet of 38 A320neos, comprised of 18 A321LRs and 20 A321XLR aircraft – an even longer-range variant.

Qantas received its last 787, VH-ZNN ‘Snowy River’, last month, after taking delivery of VH-ZNM, named ‘Mateship’ and VH-ZNL, ‘Billabong’.

Like previous Qantas 787-9s, the final three aircraft feature 42 business class lie-flat bed seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 166 economy seats.

Alongside purchasing new aircraft, Qantas has also agreed upon a deal that will let Finnair aircraft and crew operate the Flying Kangaroo’s services to Singapore and Bangkok.

Finally, Qantas recently unveiled its A330-200 that it converted from a passenger aircraft into a freighter.

The A330’s arrival forms part of a major overhaul of Qantas Freight’s aircraft that will create nine new A321 P2Fs, taking its final fleet to 12. It’s also planning to receive one more A330 P2F.


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