Last year rumours were rife that Qantas would be announcing its first ever nonstop flights between Perth and London Heathrow. But nothing happened.
Such ultra long-haul flights would be amongst the world’s longest nonstop services.
They would have a flying time of around 17.5 hours and would be operated by one of Qantas’ B787s the first of which will be delivered in 2017.
Excitement is today building in Perth, Western Australia that Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is on the verge of announcing nonstop flights to Europe.
One of the issues holding back the announcement has been Perth airport where Qantas wanted to operate out of the domestic zone in order for better connections to be made from internal (domestic) flights.
(At Perth the international and domestic terminals are located some distance apart).
But if that issue has now been resolved it would pave the way for Qantas to announce nonstop flights.
If the service does proceed then one wonders how it will impact on the JV (joint-venture) which Qantas operates with Emirates?
As with Singapore Airlines, when it last flew nonstop between Singapore and New York, will Qantas have a “premium-heavy” configuration for its Perth-London flights?
In which case could we see a situation where Qantas attracts the high-yield business market onto its nonstop flights but encourages its leisure passengers to use the less expensive JV services (with Emirates) via Dubai ?
Many questions are still to be answered. Hopefully the situation will clarify in the days ahead.