Qantas withdraws QF9 / QF10 London Heathrow – Dubai – Melbourne route in favour of Perth stopover

Qantas Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner (Image courtesy of Qantas Airways)

Following the news today that Qantas is to fly direct from London Heathrow to Perth from Sunday 25 March 2017, Qantas has also confirmed it is to also withdraw its service from London Heathrow to Melbourne via Dubai, operated with the Airbus A380.

Instead, passengers wishing to travel between London and Melbourne courtesy of Qantas can either fly on an Emirates codeshare service with a change of aircraft in Dubai.

Alternatively passengers can connect on to Qantas’ non-stop Boeing 787-900 service between London Heathrow and Perth which will ultimately originate and terminate in Melbourne.
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Qantas to launch non-stop London Heathrow – Perth flights from Saturday 24 March 2018

Qantas Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner (Image courtesy of Qantas Airways)

Qantas has today confirmed the launch date of non-stop daily flights between London Heathrow and Perth. 

The new direct route will launch from Perth on Saturday 24 March 2018 and from London on Sunday 25 March 2018.  

It will also replace Qantas’ existing London Heathrow – Dubai – Melbourne service.

Flights are on sale now at Qantas.com.

At the time of writing return fares (including a Saturday night stay) near to launch are in the region of £1,260 for economy and £4,231 for business class.
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Qantas unveils its new Boeing 787-900 premium economy seat which will operate London Heathrow – Perth non-stop flights

Qantas has today unveiled its new premium economy seat which is due to operate on Qantas’ non-stop Boeing 787-900 flights between London Heathrow and Perth from March 2018.

At the time Qantas announced the launch of non-stop flights between London and Perth it kept details of its premium economy seats under wraps, whilst hailing it as revolutionary. Today Qantas has unveiled the seat and some aspects of the premium economy cabin design.

Qantas Boeing 787-900 Premium Economy Seat (Source: Qantas Airways)
Qantas Boeing 787-900 Premium Economy Seat (Source: Qantas Airways)

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Qantas CEO Alan Joyce moots non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Sydney & Melbourne

This week’s Australian Financial Review magazine carries an extensive feature on Qantas. It is well worth a read. Much of the feature focuses on the work Qantas is doing to prepare for non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Perth.

Last year, Qantas gained a huge amount of favourable worldwide publicity when it announced non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Perth.

These flights are due to go on sale in April 2017 in advance of the route’s launch in March 2018. Whilst Qantas is still keeping some details under wraps, such its new premium economy seat, it has given the AFR some insight into its preparations for the new route. Specifically, Qantas is looking at the whole “ultra long-haul” in flight experience. This includes the design and timing of in flight meals, cabin lighting and in-flight announcements.

Also of note is that Qantas raises the possibility of non-stop flights between London and Sydney with the Ultra Long Range version of the Airbus A350-900 aircraft and Boeing 777-8X aircraft.
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Qantas to launch “ultra long haul” non-stop flights from London Heathrow to Perth from March 2018

Qantas Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner (Image courtesy of Qantas Airways)
Qantas Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner (Image courtesy of Qantas Airways)

Qantas Airways is to launch a new direct non-stop route from London Heathrow to Perth in Western Australia from March 2018.

This is the first scheduled non-stop direct link between Europe and Australia.

There have been non-stop flights between Europe and Australia in the past, but only as one-off charter flights with a significantly lighter weight.

At a distance of 14,498 kilometres and a fight time of approximately 17 hours, this will be one of the longest “ultra long haul” non-stop flights in the world.   This is a time saving of 3-4 hours on one stop services.

Qantas has yet to announce the exact departure and arrival times of the flights and flights will not go on sale until April 2017.   If Qantas is to use departure slots from its existing Heathrow portfolio a departure time of around either 12 midday or 10pm is likely.

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Qantas Airways to open a new dedicated lounge in London Heathrow Terminal 3 in 2017

Qantas Airways has just announced it is to open a new dedicated lounge for first and business class passengers flying on its daily services to Sydney and Melbourne from London Heathrow Terminal 3, which will open in 2017.

Currently, Qantas does not have its own lounge at London Heathrow and eligible passengers have to make use of the British Airways Galleries Club and First lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

The lounge will occupy two levels of the airport terminal with capacity for 230 passengers. The new lounge is expected to be modelled on recent Qantas lounges in Hong Kong and Singapore. Construction will commence later this year.

Features of the new lounge will include:

• Australian chef Neil Perry’s Rockpool menu and dining experience;
• Full-service bar with Rockpool cocktails;
• Full bathroom facilities including showers;
• Business facilities; and
• Children’s zone.

Eligible members of Oneworld alliance frequent flyer programmes will also have access to the lounge and with Cathay Pacific also refurbishing its lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3, Oneworld passengers will have a good choice of lounge facilities at London Heathrow.

This is also a welcome investment by Qantas in London. Qantas has previously reduced its daily services from London Heathrow from four to two daily. It also ended its partnership with British Airways in favour a partnership with Emirates with all services to Sydney and Melbourne routed via Dubai as a consequence. There have been question marks over its long term commitment to London which can be allayed by the news of this investment.

Whilst the lounge design and menus will have a strong Australian flavour, Qantas do promise a British twist. In any event, a touch of Australia will no doubt be welcome in a wet and grey day at London Heathrow!
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Qantas re-times QF9 & QF10 London Heathrow – Dubai – Melbourne services from 20 July 2014

A familiar sight for anyone passing through Heathrow during the day is a pair of Qantas A380s parked at a remote stand near Terminal 3.

Whilst providing those on a mundane business trip to Frankfurt or Geneva the opportunity to dream about going somewhere else, it serves as an illustration of the hard economics for Qantas of competing against Middle Eastern and Asian airlines in the London to Australia market.

Currently, Qantas’ twice daily flights to Australia depart late in the evening and arrive in the morning at London Heathrow meaning hugely expensive assets are left on the ground all day doing nothing.

From 20 July 2014, as part of a broader restructuring of Qantas’ network in response to a deteriorating financial performance, Qantas flights to Melbourne will be retimed from a late evening departure to an early afternoon departure.

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