This weekend, a Qantas 787-9 will fly the first-ever nonstop airline route from Australia to Europe, traveling from Perth to London. The jet will carry 236 passengers on the trip, covering 7,775 NM in about 17 hours.
“It’s great news for travelers because it will make it easier to get to London,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. “It’s great news for Western Australia because it will bring jobs and tourism.
And it’s great news for the nation, because it will bring us closer to one of our biggest trade partners and sources of visitors.” When Qantas first established a route to London, in 1947, it took four days and nine stops.
The flight will be the third-longest passenger route in the world, and the longest flight for Qantas or a Boeing Dreamliner.
For Australians in Sydney and Melbourne, however, the flight doesn’t offer a big change.
Flights from those cities now reach London with a stop in Singapore, taking about 22 hours. With a connecting flight to Perth, those travelers can now get to London in about 21.5 hours. Qantas is reportedly working on offering nonstops from Sydney and Melbourne soon.
The choice of the 787 for the route also marks the retirement of the airline’s 747 fleet. Qantas has said it will retire the last of its 747s by 2020.