Schedule for the first non-stop flight from UK to Australia is revealed

Aircraft fuselage

Qantas has officially announced that beginning March 26, 2018, a Boeing 787-9 twin jet will leave London Heathrow at 10 am and land in Perth around noon the following day. The 17-hour flight will cover well over 9000 miles once the jet stream winds and geopolitical factors are taken into account (the shortest route flies over Crimea, a disputed region in Ukraine). Lunch will be served over Germany, dinner over the Arabian Sea, and breakfast 2 hours before landing.


Despite being the longest flight ever from the UK, many flyers will need to transfer in Perth to Sydney or Melbourne which is another 4 to 5-hour flight. In Perth, there will be connections available to Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Canberra. Qantas has stated that in the future the flight should also go directly to Melbourne or Sydney, cities much larger and more popular than the isolated Perth.


The return flight to London Heathrow will depart at 7 pm from Melbourne and after 10 pm from Perth. The return will take roughly an hour longer due to jet stream headwinds, seeing the plane arrive around 7 am at Heathrow.


The aircraft for the journey will be able to accommodate 236 people (42 business class suites, 28 premium economy, and 166 economy seats). Although there is some doubt as to how successful and popular such a route will be, Qantas has pointed to one key statistic to show that there will be sufficient demand for the service to Perth. 184,000 British-born people live in Perth, more than anywhere else in Australia. Melbourne and Sydney each have roughly 150,000 British-born inhabitants, just 4% of the population in both cities. All these Brits in Perth and their friends and relatives back in the UK will be sure to keep demand for the service high.


Fares have not yet been announced. However, there have been estimates placing the likely cost of a return ticket at around 1,000 pounds (taking into account a £150 premium each way for the faster journey privilege).