Seven facts about Qantas’s breakthrough flight from Perth to London

By Addie Thomes

Qantas celebrated its inaugural direct flight from Australia to Europe, touching down at London Heathrow Airport after following a 17-hour journey.

This marks a crucial milestone in the carrier’s plans to become a go-to for ultra-long haul flights, one which CEO Alan Joyce hails as a game changing moment.

“This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel,” he said. “For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link.”

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But what are the main numbers behind this breakthrough? Here are seven key facts and figures about the Perth-London flight.

  1. The 17-hour journey was operated by four pilots on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
  2. At 14,498km, it is the third longest commercial flight currently in operation. It is the world’s longest Dreamliner flight.
  3. The original route from Australia to London took four days and seven stops back in 1947.
  4. Qantas analysed a decade of seasonal wind patterns in preparation for the new service.
  5. The aircraft took off with 92 tonnes of fuel.
  6. The Qantas Dreamliner has a capacity of 236 passengers.
  7. Qantas worked with the University of Sydney and consulting chef Neil Perry to create a menu that helps the body cope better with jetlag.

Joyce added: “The response to the flight has been amazing, both for the attention it’s received since we announced it and the bookings we’ve seen coming in. It’s great for Australian tourism, for business travellers and for people visiting friends and family on both sides of the world.”


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