It was a HUGE week for Qantas and aviation in general last week, with the Flying Kangaroo launching its direct Perth-London service on Saturday. So, why is it such a big deal?
Qantas Group Chief Executive Alan Joyce has described the new route as a “watershed” moment for travel, tourism and Australian trade.
“When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops. Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop,” he said.
“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.”
Alan Joyce, Qantas Chief Executive
And it’s not just about the flight. It’s about the experience. The airline has heavily invested in the onboard product and the lounges at either end to ensure the new service “reshapes” the flying experience for travellers.
In fact, there is no shortage of reasons why he’s so excited about this new route. Here’s 10 of them:
1. This is the longest flight in Qantas’ network
The 14,498km flight will take approximately 17 hours (slightly more or less depending on winds).
When the Qantas Dreamliner 787-9 ‘The Great Southern Land’ takes off from Perth on Saturday, it’s expected to be the third-longest passenger flight in the world.
It will also be the longest flight on the Qantas network, followed by its non-stop A380 Sydney-Dallas service (13,730km).
2. In fact, it will be the longest Dreamliner flight in the world
When United launched its 14,001 km LA-Singapore route last October, it became the longest Dreamliner flight in the world.
But on Saturday, Qantas’ new service seized the title.
3. It’s also a world first
The 14,498-kilometre service will be the first regular passenger service to directly link Australia with Europe when it takes off. That’s big news.
4. The Dreamliner aircraft was made with minimising jet lag in mind
The aircraft has been designed with plastics in the airframe. That allows the cabin to stay pressurised at 1,828 metres no matter how high the plane flies, unlike most other aircraft which are pressurised at 2,438 metres. Jet lag symptoms kick in at 1,981 metres.
Other “comfort factors” include improved air quality, lower cabin noise and technology to reduce turbulence.
5. The menu promises to help you beat jet lag too
Say hello to a new menu featuring lighter meals like healthy poke bowls and a specially designed relaxing herbal tea.
The airline’s creative director of food, beverage and service Neil Perry said the new offering combined research from the Charles Perkins Centre with the in-house experience of the Qantas and Rockpool teams.
“Working with clinical sleep specialists, nutritionists and metabolic scientists, we’ve designed new menu options using delicious ingredients that have added benefits of hydration, aiding sleep and reducing jet lag,” he said.
6. Passengers will be able to enjoy a new London lounge
The Flying Kangaroo opened its first ever London Lounge at Heathrow Airport in November last year, in anticipation of the new service.
The lounge was designed with the extended 17.5-hour flight time in mind, according to Joyce.
“We have worked with leaders in design, food and service to create a lounge that is modern and comfortable and incorporates the aesthetics of the Qantas lounges that make our customers feel at home,” he said.
7. Qantas is also opening an all-new Perth lounge
The new Perth international lounge will open on the route’s launch day, March 24, and will only be available to travellers in transit on those non-stop Boeing 787 flights between Perth and London, according to Qantas, as well as those starting their journey in Perth on QF9.
In keeping with Joyce’s vision, it will feature a menu geared towards “wellness” and more than a dozen shower suites with blue LED lighting set to a wavelength which gently revitalises the body. In addition, there will be an outdoor area to soak up some natural rays.
8. The new route has boosted tourism prospects for Western Australia
The direct route is expected to appeal to travellers on the East Coast as well as West Australians, helping to deliver a tourism boost.
“A direct flight makes travelling to Australia a much more attractive proposition to millions of people,” Joyce said.
“We expect many travellers from Europe will start their time in Australia with a visit to Perth before going on to see other parts of the country.”
9. More Dreamliners are on their way
The first Dreamliner arrived in October 2017 (and KARRYON was on board!) and has been flying between Melbourne and Los Angeles until the start of the new route. Three more Dreamliners have since been delivered, with the newest featuring a unique Indigenous livery.
All eight Dreamliners will have arrived by the end of 2018.
10. Perth to Paris could be next!
In October, Joyce confirmed the airline would look at Perth to Paris down the line using the 787 Dreamliner.
“When we last flew into Paris [up until the early 2000s], we could only fly in three days a week, they were the rights. Now the rights are daily, which changes the economics,” he told The Australian Financial Review.
The airline has also flagged Frankfurt as a direct route possibility from Australia.
How excited are you about Qantas’ new Perth-London service?
Share this story