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Australian carrier Qantas is dropping its existing flights from Melbourne to London via Dubai in favour of a more direct route through Perth.
The national carrier announced that it would axe its daily A380 Melbourne-Dubai-London service for a new daily 787-9 Melbourne-Perth-London service, starting on March 24 2018.
The non-stop flight from Perth to London will be Qantas’ first direct route between Australia and Europe, and will take an estimated 17 hours (depending on winds) to complete the 14,498km flight.
The switch will see Qantas cut the overall journey time to London reduced by one hour, the airline said.
Although not as severe as the US restrictions, the new flights will also bypass the extra security checks currently in place for flights via Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
CEO Alan Joyce told Australian media that he expects Qantas to be operating non-stop to London from Sydney and Melbourne within five years, as technology develops.
Qantas said that despite the change in flights, the codeshare partnership with Emirates remained in place, with connections on flights to Europe untouched.
“Qantas customers in Melbourne will have the option to fly with partner Emirates on Qantas code to Dubai and then direct to nearly 40 destinations in Europe,” Qantas in its statement.
Emirates will upgrade its third daily flight from Melbourne to an A380 (from a Boeing 777-300) from the 25th March, 2018.
The Qantas A380 that currently operates the Melbourne-London route will be redeployed to meet periods of high demand from Melbourne and Sydney to destinations in Asia, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, the airline said