Qantas Brings Forward Return Of Non-Stop Perth Flights

Qantas has brought forward its planned return of non-stop flights between London & Perth.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

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

Qantas is to bring forward its planned return of non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Perth.

Since Qantas resumed passenger flights between the UK and Australia all have operated non-stop to Darwin.

Qantas had planned to restore its non-stop link to Perth in June, at the same time as Airbus A380 flights to Sydney via Singapore.

This is now brought forward to Monday 23 May 2022. As before COVID-19, the flight will continue between Perth and Melbourne.

There have been reports of operational problems flying non-stop between Darwin and London, with passengers’ bags left behind in some instances.

Perth will also again a non-stop link to Rome shortly afterwards with a new seasonal Qantas service between 25 June and 6 October 2022.

At the time of publication, timetables on the Qantas website do not appear to have been fully updated. Inbound flights to London still show as operating from Darwin.

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Qantas To Fly London – Sydney Non-Stop

Qantas has ordered 12 Ultra Long Range Airbus A350-1000 aircraft capable of flying non-stop from London to Sydney.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

Qantas Airbus A350-1000 Aircraft CGI Image
Qantas Airbus A350-1000 Aircraft CGI Image (Image Credit: Airbus / Qantas)

In 2017, now a lifetime ago in aviation, Qantas set Airbus and Boeing a challenge.

They were asked to design an aircraft capable of breaking one of the last frontiers of civil aviation: non-stop flights between London Heathrow and the East Coast of Australia.

Five years, a lot of PR hype, and a global pandemic later, Qantas has confirmed it has ordered 12 Ultra Long Range Airbus A350-1000 aircraft capable of flying from London Heathrow to Sydney non-stop.

This will cut the journey time from London to Sydney from 23 hours to around 20 hours.

The first aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2025 and 2028. This is some 90 years after the first passenger flights between the UK and Australia which took 12 and half days.

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Qantas To Restart London Heathrow – Singapore – Sydney

Qantas will restart Airbus A380 flights between London Heathrow and Sydney from 19 June 2022.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

Qantas Airbus A380 at London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Image Credit: Heathrow)
Qantas Airbus A380 at London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Qantas will restart Airbus A380 flights between London Heathrow and Sydney, via Singapore, from Sunday 19 June 2022.

Since Qantas restarted international flights between London and Australia last year, all flights to Sydney and Melbourne have operated non-stop between the UK and Australia via Darwin.

Qantas will also restart non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Perth from this date. This flight will continue to Melbourne.

As ever, this is subject to change. Readers can keep to date with the latest international network changes from Qantas.

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Qantas Extends London – Darwin Flights To June 2022

Qantas will continue to operate all flights from London to Australia via Darwin until at least June 2022.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Aircraft VH-OJA Arrival, Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, Friday 15 November 2019
Qantas Boeing 787-9 Aircraft VH-OJA Arrival, Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, Friday 15 November 2019 (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Qantas will continue to operate all flights from London Heathrow to Australia via Darwin until at least June 2022.

When Qantas resumed scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Australia in late 2021, it chose to route flights to both Melbourne and Sydney via Darwin instead of Perth and Singapore.

Qantas had planned to reinstate non stop flights from London to Perth from Sunday 27 March 2022. These are postponed until at least June 2022. This is due to the decision by the Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan to extend the closure of its international border.

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Qantas Reopens London Heathrow Lounge

Qantas has reopened its lounge for business and First Class passengers at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

Qantas London Heathrow Lounge (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Qantas has reopened its lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

The highly regarded joint business and First Class lounge has been closed since Qantas first suspended scheduled passenger flights from Heathrow at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This does provide a welcome additional lounge option for eligible passengers of British Airways and other Oneworld alliance member airlines when flying from Terminal 3.

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Qantas Plans To Resume London Flights On 31 October

Qantas plans to resume flights between London Heathrow and Australia from 31 October 2021.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Aircraft VH-OJA Pre Departure, London Heathrow Terminal 3, Thursday 14 November 2019
Qantas Boeing 787-9 Aircraft VH-OJA Pre Departure, London Heathrow Terminal 3, Thursday 14 November 2019 (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Qantas has delayed the planned restart of scheduled international passenger flights from London Heathrow to Australia.

The airline has postponed the start of scheduled international flights by four months to 31 October 2020.

At this time Qantas plans to restart all of its pre COVID-19 international destinations, except for New York JFK, Osaka and Santiago. However, capacity will remain significantly reduced through frequency reductions and aircraft changes. The airline had also suspended the planned launch of a number of new international routes such as Brisbane to Chicago O’Hare and San Francisco.

Timetables currently indicated that Qantas will fly from London Heathrow non-stop to Perth and to Sydney via Singapore with the first flights departing London on Monday 1 November 2021. Both of these routes will be operated with Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

All 12 of Qantas Airbus A380 aircraft have been placed into long term storage. Qantas does not expect these aircraft to return to service until after 30 June 2023.

As for the long awaited order for Airbus A350-1000 aircraft capable of flying from London to Sydney non-stop, this remains deferred.

Whilst scheduled flights have been suspended, Qantas has operated occasional flights from Australia to London on behalf of the Australian government to allow passengers to return to the UK, and these will continue in the interim.

As ever in the current climate, schedules remain subject to change. Passengers must comply with all pre-departure requirements and entry restrictions which can also change at short notice.

© Copyright London Air Travel 2021.

Qantas’ Most Memorable TV Advertisements

A look at Qantas’ most memorable television advertising from 1968 to 2020.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

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

For Qantas’ centenary on 16 November 2020, here is a look at some of its most memorable TV advertising over more than 50 years.

A consistent theme is Qantas unashamedly positioning itself as the national airline of Australia. Qantas has never been one for abstract concepts in advertising. Due to the country’s geography with Australians overseas being a long distance away from home, the airline also likes to emphasis its role in reuniting Australians.

“I Hate Qantas”

A grumpy koala that lived by the motto “I Hate Qantas” featured in Qantas TV adverts from 1962 to 1992.

Devised by Qantas’ US advertising agency, the live koala voiced by the late actor Howard Morris, bemoaned Qantas for bringing tourists to Australia and disturbing its solitude.

The grumpy koala was given something to smile about in 1989 when Qantas launched a non-stop service between Los Angeles and Auckland.

Qantas Los Angeles - Auckland Non-Stop, 1989
Qantas Los Angeles – Auckland Non-Stop, 1989

“The Flying Kangaroo”

Very 1980s!

“We’re Coming To Get You”

“I Still Call Australia Home”

“I Still Call Australia Home” is one of Qantas’ most famous advertising campaigns.

The latter adverts featured children’s choirs performing Peter Allen’s song at various locations around the world. This was at a time when airlines had the budgets for such extravagance.

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The 1971 Qantas Bomb Hoax

How Qantas was subject to one of Australia’s most audacious heists, as “Mr Brown” extorted AU$500,000 from the airline.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

Qantas Boeing 707-138 "City Of Canberra"
Qantas Boeing 707-138 “City Of Canberra” (Image Credit: Qantas)

On the afternoon of 26 May 1971, staff at Qantas House in Sydney received an unexpected telephone call.

At 12:15pm local time, a man identifying himself only as “Mr Brown” advised Qantas that a barometric bomb had been placed on board one of its Boeing 707 aircraft.

The aircraft had left Sydney 45 minutes earlier and was en route to Hong Kong with 116 passengers and 12 crew members.

Mr Brown claimed the bomb would be automatically exploded by a change in air pressure as the aircraft descended from its normal cruising altitude of 30,000 feet to 20,000 feet.

To prove that he was not bluffing Mr Brown advised that a similar bomb had been placed in a locker at Sydney airport. The bomb, made of gelignite with an altimeter-triggered detonator, was located shortly afterwards.

With the second bomb there were three typewritten notes. One written to Qantas General Manager Captain R J Ritche demanded AU$500,000 in exchange for instructions on how to locate and dismantle the bomb on board the aircraft.

To test the veracity of Mr Brown’s threat, the second bomb was diffused. Its explosives were replaced with a light bulb. The diffused bomb was put on board a second Boeing 707. It climbed to 8,500 feet. When it descended back to 5,000 feet the light bulb lit up.

Qantas immediately notified the aircraft’s Captain, William Selwyn. A thorough search of the aircraft was ordered. Passengers were only told that there was a technical difficulty – though many could tell that a bomb was suspected to be on board – and the aircraft would have to circle in the air until it could land in Sydney.

The aircraft returned to the East Coast of Australia and spent three hours circling over Brisbane and a further two and a half hours circling over Sydney.

With the aircraft running out of fuel, Qantas agreed to pay the AU$500,000 ransom. After hurriedly securing funds from its bank, without time to take numbers of the bank notes, a drop off was arranged outside Qantas House. The money was placed in two suitcases and put in the back of a van.

After doing so, Qantas was told there was no bomb on board the aircraft. The bomb threat was a hoax. The aircraft then landed safely in Sydney with just 15 minutes’ fuel left. Military aircraft and navy vessels were deployed by the Australian government in case the aircraft did not land safely.

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100 Years Of Qantas In The UK: Retreat & Renewal

The relentless rise of Middle Eastern airlines prompts Qantas to reassess its presence in the UK.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

Qantas Airbus A350-1000 Aircraft CGI Image
Qantas Airbus A350-1000 Aircraft CGI Image (Image Credit: Airbus / Qantas)

On 16 November 2020, Qantas will mark 100 years since its incorporation as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd.

In the first part of our series on Qantas in the UK, we looked at its early co-operation with Imperial Airways and BOAC. In part two we looked at how the Boeing 707 established Qantas as a round-the-world airline. Part three looked at how the Boeing 747 transformed flying to Australia.

“No British Airways ownership of our Qantas. Piss off poms.”

By the end of the 20th century Qantas remained the dominant airline carrying passengers to Australia with an around 40% share of international traffic.

This was owed, in part, to a close relationship over many decades with BA and its predecessor airlines Imperial Airways and BOAC.

BOAC Qantas Kangaroo Route 25th Anniversary, 10 December 1959
BOAC Qantas Kangaroo Route 25th Anniversary, 10 December 1959

In 1993, when BA had ambitions to be a major global airline, it beat Singapore Airlines to acquire a 25% stake in Qantas in ahead of its full privatisation in 1997.

Not everyone was enamoured with the idea. One particularly dissatisfied Australian put up a sign “No British Airways ownership of our Qantas. Piss off poms.” at Sydney airport.

BA and Qantas formed a joint-business in 1995 to co-operate on Europe – Australia services. This involved co-ordination of fares, schedules and many joint airport lounges throughout Asia. BA and Qantas also shared aircraft, with BA leasing 7 Boeing 767 aircraft to Qantas.

At the turn of the century, with a focus on reducing complexity in its operations, BA turned its attention away from Australia. To reduce the amount of debt on its balance sheet BA also sold its stake in Qantas.

Meanwhile, Qantas saw its future in the Airbus A380 carrying ever larger numbers of passengers to Europe and the Middle East. Towards the end of 2000, Qantas ordered 12 aircraft. A further 8 were ordered in 2006 (International Herald Tribune), but this was subsequently cancelled.

BA and Qantas explored a merger in 2008. The deal was pulled after the two airlines could not agree on the relative shares in the combined business. Given the physical distance between the UK and Australia, it is hard to see how the merger could have achieved the synergies BA has done with Iberia. Legally, it would have to had to comply with the Qantas Sale Act which caps foreign ownership of Qantas. It could have also faced huge political opposition in Australia.

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100 Years Of Qantas In The UK: The Boeing 747 Era

How the Boeing 747 transformed flying to Australia reducing journey times and enabling Australia to be reached with just one stop en route.

London Air Travel » Qantas Airways

Qantas Boeing 747 VH-EBA Seattle Test Flight Seattle 1971
Qantas Boeing 747 VH-EBA Seattle Test Flight Seattle 1971 (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

On 16 November 2020, Qantas will mark 100 years since its incorporation as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd.

In the first part of our series on Qantas in the UK, we looked at its early co-operation with Imperial Airways and BOAC. In part two we looked at how the Boeing 707 allowed Qantas to establish itself as a round-the-world airline.

It is no exaggeration to say that, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Boeing 747 transformed flying between Europe and Australia, enabling it to be ultimately reached with just one stop en route.

The Boeing 747B At Qantas

Qantas Boeing 747-238B “City Of Canberra”
Qantas Boeing 747-238B “City Of Canberra” (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Qantas’ first Boeing 747 aircraft was the 747B. This had the same dimensions as the first version of the 747, but with a longer range and higher maximum take-off weight.

It had capacity for 356 passengers, with the galleys located below the main deck. In common with other airlines, there was a dedicated “Captain Cook” lounge for First Class passengers on the Upper Deck with a nautical theme and a rather lurid 1970s colour scheme!

Qantas Boeing 747 First Class Captain Cook Lounge, 1970s
Qantas Boeing 747 First Class Captain Cook Lounge, 1970s (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

The economy cabin shows that the 1970s was certainly the decade that taste forgot.

Qantas Boeing 747 Economy Class Cabin, 1970s
Qantas Boeing 747 Economy Class Cabin, 1970s (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Qantas’ first Boeing 747 flight departed London Heathrow for Sydney via Bahrain and Singapore on Friday 26 November 1971. Flights initially operated twice weekly on Fridays and Sundays.

In March 1974, Qantas added a second one-stop service from London Heathrow to Perth via Mumbai with a journey time of around 20 hours.

Qantas, QF8 London Heathrow to Perth, March 1974
Qantas, QF8 London Heathrow to Perth, March 1974
Qantas, London Heathrow to Australia Services, March 1974
Qantas, London Heathrow to Australia Services, March 1974
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