Qantas’ new ‘Kangaroo Route’ for non-stop flights to London from Perth went on sale this week.
The mammoth, 17-hour flight – covering 14,498 kilometres – will be operated by Qantas’ new Boeing 787-Dreamliner, which is designed for long-haul services. It’s expected to be the third-longest passenger flight in the world.
The first flight is set to take off on March 24, 2018, and will form part of a new Melbourne-Perth-London return service, which will replace the Qantas’ Melbourne-Dubai-London service.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the Kangaroo Route continued to change with new technology.
“It used to take four days and seven stops but now we’re able to link Australia and UK in a single hop,” Mr Joyce said. “We’re conscious that this is a long flight but not much longer than our Sydney to Dallas service.”
He said the Dreamliner was perfect for the route because of its built-in features to reduce jet lag.
“We’ve added a very high level of comfort in each of the cabins and a lower seat count than most of our competitors. And we’re making tweaks to our in-flight service designed to help customers enjoy the journey more.”
The Dreamliner will seat 236 passengers across Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins. Economy passengers will have an extra inch of seat pitch compared with Qantas’s A380, and a new seat, featuring a personal device holder and USB ports, more storage areas, a seat-back mood light, and high-definition entertainment touchscreen that is 5 per cent larger.
The seats also feature an updated version of the Qantas ‘footnet’, designed to cradle the legs during sleep.
Announcing the new aircraft last year, Mr Joyce said: “The windows are bigger, it helps reduce jetlag, it’s extremely quiet and there’s a system that smooths out turbulence.”
The new flights are expected to be a boon for Perth and Western Australian tourism, and Qantas is building a new international transit lounge at Perth Airport.