Qantas has just opened sales for its new "Kangaroo Route" which for the first time includes non-stop flights from Australia to Europe.
To be operated by the carrier's new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, the "history-making route" will debut on 24 March 2018 - and will replace the existing Qantas Melbourne-Dubai-London services.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the new route makes Western Australia a new tourism gateway for the country. "We know from our research that there's a lot of appetite to explore the West, not just from British and European visitors but also from Aussies on their way to London," he said.
The travel experience for customers connecting in Perth will be seamless, with Qantas currently building a new international transit lounge at Perth Airport, while customers joining the London flight from other parts of Australia will "find it a smooth transition with international and domestic flights arriving and departing from the same terminal, complete with dedicated customs and immigration," the carrier said.
Qantas will also make Perth-London the next phase of its 'Feels Like Home' marketing campaign which launches today.
Melbourne will become the hub for the first four Qantas 787s, two of which will be dedicated to the Melbourne-Los Angeles route from Dec 2017 and the third and fourth used for Melbourne-Perth London from Mar 2018. Qantas said with a faster flying time and quicker connections in Perth, total travel time from Melbourne to London will be more than an hour less than existing QF A380 flights over Dubai.
QF9 will depart Melbourne at 1520 daily, arriving in Perth at 1720 and then continuing onto London at 1950, arriving in the UK at 0510. The return QF10 will leave London Heathrow at 1330 and land in Perth at 1315, continuing on to Melbourne at 1445 to land in the Victorian capital at 2010.
The A380 currently operating Melbourne-Dubai-London will be redeployed to meet periods of high demand from Melbourne and Sydney to destinations in Asia such as Singapore and Hong Kong, the carrier said.
Meanwhile, Emirates has also today confirmed it will up-gauge its third daily Melbourne-Dubai flight to an A380 from 25 March 2018, making its flights to the Victorian capital an all-superjumbo operation and boosting its overall Melbourne capacity by 10%.