It’s official. As reported here in October 2015, Qantas announced on Sunday that it plans to roll out the Perth to London route from early 2018 in a massive boost to the WA economy.
You might ask, why hasn’t this been done before? Well, there’s one main reason this route can happen and that is the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. It’s possibly the most sophisticated plane ever. It’s smaller than the A380 but don’t let that deter you. Boeing have gone to town on weight reduction to ensure that the planes are as light as possible which in turn gives the plane a much longer fuel range. Just one example is the removal of window blinds, replaced by LED windows which change from dark to light at the press of a button.
The Perth to London route is expected to take around 17-18 hours which would be the longest non-stop route in the world. It could also save travellers around 3 hours on the traditional Asian or Middle East stopover. I do enjoy a quick stopover to stretch the legs so the direct route would need to encourage travellers to move around the plane more frequently to prevent the onset of DVT.
Qantas expect to receive their new fleet of Dreamliners in the next year and chairman Alan Joyce was on hand with WA Premier Colin Barnett on Sunday to announce a major overhaul of the current Domestic Terminal to house the new route.
It’s a great coup for Perth as I believe the route will open up Perth to a lot more people who are time conscious and hopefully vice versa for Perthies wanting to check out London and Europe. Not only that but the Domestic Terminal stands to get a much needed upgrade. Over the past 5 years the International Terminal has improved vastly due to expansion works and whilst Perth isn’t one of the top airports in the world it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Couple that with the first soil being turned last month for the Airport Rail project which is scheduled for completion in 2020, things are certainly looking up for us Perthies who love to travel!
There hasn’t been any word on possible prices yet but I’d expect them to be slightly higher than what’s available currently as you’d be bypassing that stopover.