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Qantas announced it will launch Perth-London Heathrow non-stop service in March 2018 using the Boeing 787-9 for the 9,000 mile, 17 hour flight.
When it launches, the Perth-London route will be Qantas’ longest non-stop, followed by Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth, which uses the Airbus A380 for the 8,500 mile flight.
“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,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said. “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.”
The 787-9s used on the route will carry 236 passengers in a three-class configuration with business, premium economy and economy cabins. The oneworld alliance carrier has eight 787-9s on firm order, and holds 50 purchase rights and options. Its first delivery of the type is scheduled for October 2017.
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. Qantas will move its operations to an expanded Terminal 1 at Perth Airport by 2025, pending a commercial agreement.