Non-stop London to Perth flights begin this weekend

The UK's longest non-stop regular passenger flights launch on Sunday.

Qantas' inaugural service between the Australian city of Perth and Heathrow will touch down in west London at 5.05am on Sunday before departing for the return trip at 1.15pm that afternoon.

Passengers will be on board the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft for 17 hours as they make the 9,009-mile journey.

This is 24% further than the UK's existing longest route, operated by Garuda Indonesia between Heathrow and Jakarta (7,275 miles).

The new link with Perth will be around three hours quicker than routes which involve stopping in the Middle East to change planes or refuel.

It will also enable faster journeys to Sydney and Melbourne than flying via Dubai.

The aircraft will have capacity for 236 passengers (Qantas/PA)
The aircraft will have capacity for 236 passengers (Qantas/PA)

Travel firm Flight Centre has recorded "high demand" for the new Qantas flights.

Its head of aviation, Justin Penny, said: "Flight Centre definitely feels that long-term the new route is viable and we will see additional services being launched from Europe to Australia in the coming years."

Aviation consultant John Strickland said the launch of the flights is a significant moment for the airline industry.

He told the Press Association: "It will be a further test of how successful airlines can be with ultra long-haul flying and whether this delivers sufficient profitability to justify the investment in aircraft.

"Qantas will certainly be hoping to attract a higher proportion of premium customers due to the speed advantage combined with the 787's better cabin atmosphere."

First Look: Our new transit lounge at @PerthAirport opens to customers tomorrow to coincide with the inaugural Perth to London flight. >>

-- Qantas (@Qantas) March 23, 2018

The Dreamliners on the Perth-Heathrow route will have 42 business class flat-bed seats, 28 premium economy seats and 166 economy seats.

The aircraft boasts a number of advantages over other models, including lower cabin noise, larger windows, improved air quality and technology to reduce turbulence.

They are also heralded for their fuel efficiency, although the impact of this will be reduced by the weight of the fuel needed to fly between the UK and Australia without stopping.

The world's longest regular passenger flight is operated by Qatar Airways between Doha and Auckland, at 9,025 miles.

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