When Qantas announced a new 17-hour flight between Perth and London, some travellers thought a flight of that length would be too much to bear. But for others, the first direct connection between Australia and Europe was a welcome announcement, and a year on, Qantas says the route has proven a success.
“There were a lot of expectations around this flight, both within Qantas and the broader community, and frankly it’s exceeded them. Almost every flight is full and it turned a profit almost immediately, which is rare for new services because they have start-up costs and it normally takes time to build demand”, said Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO.
While the flight can seem dauntingly long, the airline puts work into managing passenger jet lag and creating a comfortable cabin. According to Joyce, it’s the longest flight from Qantas but has the highest level of customer satisfaction.
Just under 60% of travellers on the London to Perth route are from Australia, while travellers from the UK make up 31%. While Perth is often overlooked for travellers visiting Australia, 71% of international visitors have opted for a stopover in Perth, generating a bit more interest in the city. It helps that the city is a short ferry ride to Rottnest Island, which is home to adorable quokkas.
The airline says its learning more about what travellers want out of long haul flights, and they’ve even noticed that the yoga studio in the Perth lounge has been used by more than 80% of passengers. The flight has even broken speed records, with one flight arriving an hour ahead of schedule due to prevailing winds.
Are you still sceptical about being on a plane for 17 hours straight? Find out how passengers enjoyed the inaugural flight.