The first direct flight, on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from Perth to London’s Heathrow Airport took off on Saturday 24th March carrying 200 passengers and 16 crew. It took 17 hours to travel 14,000 km (9,009 miles), the distance that separates these two cities.
The Australian flag carrier’s CEO, Alan Joyce, referred to the earliest Qantas flights between Australia and the UK called “kangaroo route” which had taken four days and involved seven stops.
Lots of praise has been received from passengers who were lucky to be the first customers to experience this historic flight. One of them was a pilot who enjoyed the comfort of not having to change the planes and not having his sleep disturbed. His dream is to fly direct from the east coast of Australia to London or New York.
To minimise the discomfort of such a long flight, the airplane is equipped with features that provide improved air quality and lower cabin noise.
Researchers from the University of Sydney monitored several passengers who shared data on their sleeping and diet patterns, hydration levels and mental state through special devices.
Qantas have an ambitious plan of including more long-haul flights to their schedules in the months to come. The Australian government also hopes that this will increase the business relationship and tourism between Australia and Europe, and will have positive impact on the economy.
This is the second longest flight after the Qatar Airways’ route from Doha to Auckland, which covers 14,529km.
Speed and efficiency is what is needed today, and that is why other companies like Emirates, Qatar Airways, and United Airlines, will try to compete to offer 18 non-stop hour flights, with connections from the Middle East to New Zealand or from Houston to Sydney. Flights like these announce a great revolution in air transportation.