Qantas plans new 18-hour non-stop flight from Perth to London
Qantas hopes to push the travelling frontiers to 18 hours of non-stop commercial flying, covering a distance of over 9,000 miles while crossing eight time zones.
That will translate into a non-stop flight from Britain to Australia within the next two years, the airline has confidently predicted.
By using the latest Boeing 787-9 aircraft, the carrier says it will fly from London to Perth. Alan Joyce, the airline’s chief executive, said the new plane opened up the vista of direct service between Europe and Australia for the first time ever. This will reverse Qantas’ recent trend of reducing the number of routes between the continents because of the required stop in Asia to refuel.
The London Independent says it is understood that the airline had leased slots to British Airways which may now be reclaimed for the new non-stop service. At present, the carrier flies from Heathrow to both Sydney and Melbourne with stop-overs in Dubai. The company says that the London-Perth route would be implemented to complement the existing links.
Ideally, a departure in the early evening in Perth, would see a flight arrive in London at noon the following day with the return from the UK leaving in early afternoon to land by late afternoon in Australia. These times would allow for optimum connection time at both ends. The length of the flight would necessitate that two pairs of pilots share the flying duty while extra cabin crew would also be needed. The new plane accommodates a crew rest section.
Qantas holds the current record for the world’s longest flight, from Dallas-Fort Worth to Sydney. It takes 17 hours to traverse the 8,579-mile trip.
However, with the Western Australia’s economy in a slump, aviation analyst, John Strickland, questioned the commercial feasibility while accepting that such a non-stop flight was technically possible.