Emirates will soon supplant Qantas Airways as the titleholder for operating the world’s longest commercial flight with its service to Panama City next year, but not for long if the Flying Kangaroo has its way.
According to a report on aviation website Air Transport World, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline plans to “open up direct service from Australia to Europe for the first time” using the B787-9, which it expects to take delivery of in 2017.
The Oneworld member is famous for operating the Kangaroo Route, which has traditionally required a refuelling layover due to the enormous distances between Australia and Europe. Qantas had previously used Singapore as its stopover hub, but following a partnership with Emirates in 2013 it re-routed all of its European flights to stopover in Dubai.
Today, Qantas’ lone European destination is London Heathrow, to where it operates flights from Sydney and Melbourne. The proposed Perth–London direct service is expected to complement these links.
Thanks to the extended range afforded by the B787-9, a direct service between Perth and London is possible, though gruelling even for the most seasoned traveller. Crossing eight time zones, the distance is around 14,500km – more than 650km further than Emirates' forthcoming service to Panama City.
For more information, visit qantas.com.au