Posted: 27 Mar 2018 Qantas’ first Perth to London flight has taken off

 

Qantas’ first Perth to London flight has taken off, marking the start of the only direct air link between Australia and Europe – and the fastest way of traveling between the two continents.

The history-making QF9, carrying more than 200 passengers and 16 crew, pushed back just before 7pm on Saturday evening and will land in London at 5am on Sunday.

Operated by a Boeing 787-9, the flight reduces total travel time by eliminating stopovers and taking advantage of the most favourable winds on any given day without having to factor in a mid-point in the Middle East or Asia when choosing a flight path.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who was one of the passengers on the inaugural flight, described it as a major milestone for Australia as well as global aviation.

NINE FAST FACTS ABOUT QF9 (PERTH-LONDON)

1. QF9 is operated by four pilots across the 17-hour journey, with one or two pilots resting at any one time.

2. The flight will follow different flight paths depending on the best winds, helping the aircraft fly faster and more efficiently. Qantas analysed a decade of seasonal wind patterns in preparation for the new service.

3. At 14,498km, QF9 is the third longest commercial flight currently in operation. It is the world’s longest Dreamliner flight.

4. QF9 will carry around 92 tonnes or 110,000 litres of fuel with the Dreamliner burning approximately 20 per cent less than traditional aircraft its size.

5. With a total seat count of 236 passengers, the Qantas Dreamliner has significantly fewer seats than many other airlines who have configured the same aircraft to carry more than 300 passengers.

6. Currently, most aircraft have cabin air pressure equivalent to that of an altitude of 8,000 ft. For the Dreamliner, Boeing cut that down to 6,000 ft, meaning it’s closer to conditions on the ground.

7. Menus for the flights between Perth and London have been designed to maintain hydration, aid sleep and reduce jetlag and include poke bowls as well as home style comfort food.

8. There are more than 21,000 individual items loaded onto the aircraft for each flight between Perth and London including 330 peppermint tea bags and hundreds of chocolate biscuits.

9. In 1947 a return flight from Sydney to London cost £525 when the average wage was £7. Today, the average Australian weekly wage is $1600 and a return fare from Perth to London can cost less than $1300.