Qantas’ first Perth to London flight has taken off, marking the start of the only direct air link between Australia and Europe – and the fastest way of travelling between the two continents.
The history-making QF9, carrying more than 200 passengers and 16 crew, pushed back just before 7pm on Saturday evening of March 24 2018 and landed in London at 5am on Sunday.
Operated by a Boeing 787-9, the flight reduces total travel time by eliminating stopovers and taking advantage of the most favourable winds on any given day without having to factor in a mid-point in the Middle East or Asia when choosing a flight path.
The daily QF9 begins in Melbourne, flying to Perth before then flying non-stop to London. Qantas has adjusted the timing of some domestic services into Perth so that passengers from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane can join the flight to London.
Today’s first flight coincided with the opening of the airline’s new Perth International Transit Lounge featuring jetlag reducing lighting as well as pre-flight stretching classes and relocating all of the airline’s domestic and international flights into a single terminal at Perth Airport for faster, smoother connections.
Qantas chose its newest Dreamliner ‘Emily’ to operate the inaugural service, which features a striking livery by Balarinji based on the artwork Yam Dreaming by Indigenous artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye. The initiative is part of the national carrier’s commitment to promoting the best of Australia to the world.