Qantas Airways Launched Historic Inaugural Nonstop Service Between London and Perth
The first historic nonstop flight from Gate 20 at Perth Airport to London Heathrow Airport departed earlier today, Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 18:50 in the evening; and it is currently the second longest flight in the world in terms of both time and duration.
Qantas Airways Launched Historic Nonstop Inaugural Service Between London and Perth
The Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” aircraft which operates as Qantas Airways Flight 9 will have traveled 14,498 kilometers for a duration of as long as 17 hours and 20 minutes; and is capable of carrying 236 passengers: 42 of them in the business class cabin; 28 of them in the premium economy class section; and 166 of them in the economy class cabin.
The new aircraft — which is registered as VH-ZND — touched down in Alice Springs on Friday, March 2, 2018 with a unique Indigenous livery, according to this official press release. “The livery showcases the artwork of the late Northern Territory artist and senior Anmatyerre woman, Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Based on her 1991 painting, Yam Dreaming, the design depicts the culturally significant yam plant, an important symbol in Emily’s Dreaming stories and a staple food source in her home region of Utopia, 230km north-east of Alice Springs.”
Alan Joyce — who is the chief executive officer of Qantas Group — announced in December of 2016 that Qantas Airways will operate nonstop flights between Perth and Heathrow Airport in London starting in March of 2018. Tickets for seats on the flights were already on sale back in April of 2017 for as low as $1,798.00 in Australian dollars. Despite service not yet having been launched, the flight reportedly already became popular amongst customers and was in high demand.
This flight is the closest nonstop commercial flight service to replacing the old “Kangaroo Route”, which was between Sydney and London but with stops — or “hops”, like a kangaroo — along the way. The original Kangaroo Route was first launched in 1935.
As part of the new approach by Qantas Airways at improving health and comfort for its customers — who “will benefit from stretching classes, jetlag-reducing lights and an outdoor terrace” — the new Perth International Transit Lounge “offers a range of unique features including ‘light therapy’ in the shower suites to help adjust the body clock, a wellbeing studio with stretching classes and a refresh area providing hydrating face products”, according to this official press release.
Other Proposed Long-Haul Routes From Sydney
Wanting to introduce nonstop flights between Sydney and London in the year 2022, Qantas Airways had challenged Boeing and Airbus to tweak their 777-8X and A350-900ULR aircraft models respectively to be able to handle the task — which is considered the “last frontier” and “Holy Grail” for ultra long haul flights — as well as for possible nonstop flights between Sydney and New York.
Approximately 300 passengers would be transported on both proposed routes.
Nonstop flights between Sydney and London — which could last for a duration of approximately 20 consecutive hours — would save approximately four hours of travel time due to the elimination of at least one stop; while passengers could potentially save three hours of travel time during nonstop flights between Sydney and New York.
The longest commercial airline route in the world by distance is 7,848 nautical miles between Doha and Auckland, as currently operated by Qatar Airways; but at a length of 9,188 nautical miles — which roughly converts to slightly greater than 10,573 miles or 17,015 kilometers — a route between Sydney and London would earn the title of the longest passenger flight in the world ever flown in the history of commercial aviation for regularly scheduled service.
I would not mind traveling on that historic route one day — as well as visiting the new International Transit Lounge at Perth Airport.
Long non-stop flights between distant places helps to cut down on the time which would otherwise be spent connecting between flights — especially as inclement weather can exacerbate the length of time and increase the chances of missing the connecting flight to the final destination…
…but long flights can also be potentially boring when sitting in a metal tube for 18 hours. I have traveled on long-haul flights flights in the past — such as from Los Angeles to Sydney as a passenger seated in the business class cabin in the upper deck of a Boeing 747-400 aircraft operated by Qantas Airways; and also as a passenger seated in the economy class cabin of an Airbus A340-642 aircraft operated by China Eastern Airlines from Shanghai to New York.
I personally like flights which last that long, as they give me a chance to sleep, watch a movie, do some work, listen to music, eat a meal leisurely, and just stare outside the window if I am seated in a seat next to the window. I also like short flights…
…but it is those medium haul flights — which last for four hours, as one example — which seem to be the most tedious, as there is not enough time to do much of anything even though the flight seems to last forever…
Source: Qantas Airways.