First direct London to WA flight arrives

First direct London to WA flight arrives

First direct London to WA flight arrives

Qantas Flight QF9 completed its 14,498km (9,009-mile) journey from Perth using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the direct flight would change the way people travel between Europe and Australia.

"The original Kangaroo Route from Australia to London was named for the seven stops it made over four days back in 1947".

Leaving Sydney, it stopped in Darwin in northern Australia, Singapore, Calcutta in India, Karachi in Pakistan, Cairo in Egypt, Tripoli in Libya and, finally, London.

The route shaves off around three hours of travel time from previous stopover routes.

The route is the world's second-longest after Qatar Airways' service from Doha to Auckland.

After United Airlines started non-stop Singapore-Los Angeles flights last October, average ticket prices on one-stop rivals fell by 15 percent relative to 2016, according to Expedia Inc data provided to Reuters.

The airline unveiled plans for the world's longest non-stop commercial flight, for the "last frontier of global aviation", back in August a year ago. "A new era of travel and opportunities for Western Australia's economy has officially begun".

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Long-distance travellers were treated to new features meant to reduce the problems associated with such a long flight. "For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link", said Mr Joyce.

"It works very well for business travellers who can stop in Perth on their way from the east coast for meetings before carrying on to London", she said.

Such a configuration reflects both the business-heavy nature of the routes the airline will operate the aircraft on, but it is also optimised to provide the payload-range performance necessary for ultra long-haul routes like Perth-London, which will the longest route yet operated by the 787.

- Reuters picThe flight marked a "historic day for aviation", said airline Chief Executive Alan Joyce.

He said the Qantas had also challenged Airbus and Boeing to produce an aircraft capable of flying direct to Heathrow and NY from Sydney and Melbourne.

This new flight costs on average $1300 one-way and carries 236 passengers.

If it is possible, Qantas will call for tenders next year, with the aircraft likely to be ready by 2022.

The inaugural non-stop flight QF9 took off from Perth at 7pm local time on Saturday, 24th March, and has landed in London at 5 am GMT on Sunday.

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