Qantas confirms direct Perth – London flights from March 2018 using Terminal 3

11 December 2016 © David Eyre

Qantas will commence the first regular passenger service to directly link Australia with Europe, with the announcement today of direct Perth-London services from March 2018, using its new, yet to be delivered Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Longest Boeing 787 service

The proposed Perth to London direct service will cover 14,498 kilometres and take approximately 17 hours, making it the longest Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight in the world, the longest Qantas service and the third-longest passenger flight in the world.

This is at the extreme range limits for the aircraft, so Qantas will need top fly with restricted loads during some parts of the year.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said “When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops. Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop.”

It is expected that approximately 150,000 passengers per year will use the new services.

The airline believes that the direct route will attract Eastern States passengers, as well as West Australians, boosting tourism. They are expected to fly domestically to Perth to connect to the non-stop London service, but some may take the opportunity to break their journey in Perth. Qantas also expects travellers from Europe will start their time in Australia with a visit to Perth before going on to see other parts of the country.

Qantas will review some domestic flight schedules, to ensure better connections with their international flights.

Currently, Qantas passengers wishing to fly to Europe from Perth have to fly on an Emirates A380, under a codeshare arrangement.

The first of eight new 787-9 Dreamliners is due to be delivered in October 2017, and are configured in a more comfortable 236-passenger configuration, with 42 business class seats (in a 1-2-1 layout), 28 premium economy seats (2-3-2 across), and 166 economy seats (3-3-3 across).

Terminal dispute

The proposed flights will operate from Qantas’ existing facilities at Terminal 3 (T3) on the west side of the airport, rather than Terminal 1 International on the east side. In addition, Qantas’ services to Singapore (Boeing 737-800) and seasonal Auckland services (Airbus A330-200) will also operate from T3.

Interestingly, Terminal 3 was the site of Perth’s earlier Domestic/International, prior to Terminal 1 opening in 1986.

Qantas wanted passengers to use T3 for the services, to allow passengers a convenient transfer between its domestic and international services, rather than having to catch a bus between T3 and T1 International. This created a dispute between Qantas and Perth Airport, neither of whom wanted to pay the multi-million dollar cost of terminal upgrades at T3, necessary to add a international/domestic ‘swing gate’ and add border control facilities. Perth Airport did not want to upgrade T3, as plans are for all airline operations to be consolidated at Airport Central (around T1). The airport offered financial incentives for Qantas to use T1 International, but the airline refused.

In the end, the Western Australian Government stepped in to contribute $14 million towards the cost of T3 upgrades. As part of the deal, Qantas agreed to move its operations to Terminal 1 at by 31 December 2025, pending terminal expansion and a commercial agreement.

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

9 thoughts on “Qantas confirms direct Perth – London flights from March 2018 using Terminal 3

  • December 11, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Well, what a disgrace, QANTAS has just rode roughshod over Perth and our glory seeking premier couldnt believe his luck in being ”instrumental” in this low handed deal. Again I say that QANTAS is seriously delusional if they think for one minute, that passengers, well -heeled of course, will fly from the eastern states, to then sit for 17 hours when they could have been comfortably on their way from Melbourne or Sydney. Come on, lets be absolutely truthful and realistic here, they wont be coming over here just to go on a ”direct” that may very likely have to drop in for a fuel top up somewhere along the way in southern Europe. QANTAS should be thinking about stationing B787 engineers maybe in Istanbul or similar, because they will be needed.
    Remember our state elections in March 2017!

    • December 12, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Us on the west coast have to stop in Sydney or Melbourne if we wish to fly to the US so the East coast can expect the same to Europe without complaints!!!!

  • December 11, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    So Qatar and Singapore Airlines will match this with A350 flights as competition??

  • December 11, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    It’s a real pity that a nay sayer sprang to comment before anyone positive had a chance to do so.
    What a great decision. Common sense prevailed. This will be a fantastic opportunity for WA , all tourism operators, Qantas and Perth Airport, not to mention the scores of passengers who will undoubtedly swamp this service.
    We’d be kicking ourselves for years if we’d let this chance slip though our fingers.
    As an unashamed Qantas lover and dinkum Aussie, I’d love to be on the first flight and though not “well heeled”, plan to be a regular user of this fantastic direct flight.

    • December 14, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      Where are your scores of passengers who will “undoubtedly swamp this service” coming from? It is a premium fare service so that negates a large part of the market using the service when they have lower one stop services on carriers like Etihad, Qatar, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines, all WAY better airlines than Qantas (having just stepped off two Qantas flights vowing never again to use them again – awful onboard service and very uncomfortable A330 seating). You seriously think a non-stop service is going to attract new passengers into the market? All it will do is attract some existing travelers who probably already use premium economy and business class on the existing carriers. You might like the idea of being cooped up in a plane for 17 hours but most experienced travellers I have spoken to will stick with the better service and one stop connections of the existing services.

  • December 12, 2016 at 8:51 am

    As above, for years the aviation industry in this country has favored living in the eastern states. It’s a wonderful package that has been put together to allow us (WA passengers) the opportunity to take advantage of the direct routes. I for one, would much prefer to get the long haul flight over and done with vs the usual PITA stop-over that serves no purpose (to the passenger) other than to slow the trip down.

    Once they commence extra flights to other southern European destinations, I believe everyone in WA will benefit greatly from the options available when looking to travel abroad. Who knows, it may even bring the costs down to use the other carriers currently servicing this route with a stop-over.

  • December 12, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Good to see Qantas confirming the Perth-London Flights.
    I hope that they can codeshare with British Airways in order to have a better connection in Europe.

  • December 15, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Further to my initial ”nay sayer”branded comment, I have just retired after 47 years in airline operations and latterly airport management operations, east and west coast and UK. I have been using QF intl. since1975, recent QF domestic and intl. again so not a QF basher in any way. What has annoyed 95% of my aviation and non aviation friends is the bully tactics by QF to coerce Perth Airport to let them use T3/4, when T1 exists for the very purpose QF want to operate, thats all we are about. QF refusing to pay a cent of the $25m terminal revamp is sheer arrogance at best. Can you see SYD and BNE airports agreeing to this, I dont think so. Unbelievable pressure has been brought to bear on Perth Airport by all sections of the community and then our premier dipping in $14m of tax payers money, shame.
    Brutal facts are that over a 5 year period, QF removed the PER/HKG, the NRT then the SIN service leaving PER without a QF international service for 13 months, then shamed into resuming the SIN service (with a 737 mind you) in June 2015. Alan Joyce said that PER international ops wasn’t viable anymore, they would instead concentrate on east coast to SE Asia, Pacific and deep penetration USA, which they have done successfully. So then after removing a large number of staff, having all heavy maintenance, repainting and cabin refurbs.moved overseas, sub contracting the lounges, and making pilots wear those silly outdated white topped hats (pilots loathe them ) they finally have the cash to buy some of these marvellous B787s, which every other airline now has embedded into their fleets.
    So time to cosy up to Perth ,that they abandoned before and set the agenda, with no compromise.
    Brutal facts time again, Boeing state range is 140nm less than QF quote in their brochure, the actual track miles PER/LHR is some 190nm more than the aircraft can achieve, so buggered before you start, unless you reduce heavily the pax number uplift and then you will need to adjust the fare upwards to make it viable. Look, I am all for this happening but its a marginal operation at best, good luck to them if they can make it happen. But hard facts, they will need engineering and refuelling support either in IST or ATH on the PER/LHR legs, not so dicey on the return.
    Lastly, ”unbridled wealth” will flow into WA from this, what overstated and fairytale nonsense.
    All the interested groups think it will, ”well heeled travellers staying in 5 star Perth hotels” as quoted by our travel writers and aviation gurus, they just heart of heart know this is not going to be the case.
    QR/EK and ET and certainly CX and SQ will be reviewing their fares, they just wont ignore this new proposed venture.

    Enough said, just get on with it now and see how it goes.

  • January 28, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    What a waste of money, all the international services are in place at T1, but to save the precious Qantas passengers from catching a bus to their connecting flight, the librals blow 14 million of taxpayers money on duplicating services which have just been upgraded at great expense, it’s so easy spending other people’s money, they deserve to get the boot at the next election.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *