Tickets are now on sale through Qantas and are quickly being snapped up.
The air-travel giant has given the tickets an initial price of $2,270 per person, but it expects this figure to drop to under $2,000 during sales periods.
Coming in at 14,498 kilometres, the new route will be the second-longest direct passenger flight in the world, according to Forbes.
The flight will take roughly 18 hours – shaving about 3 hours off existing flights – and is a red-eye overnight flight, leaving leave Perth at 6:50 pm and arriving at Heathrow at 5:10 am the next day.
The flight will be held on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which has been hailed as offering quieter cabins and less cramped conditions than other large planes.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has expressed his excitement at the announcement, labelling the new direct flight a game-changer.
“[This is] the kind of route that the Dreamliner was created for, because of its built-in features to reduce jet lag and improve the overall travel experience,” Joyce said.
“When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took 4 days and 9 stops. Now it will take just 17 hours.
“It’s great news for travellers because it will make it easier to get to London, it’s great news for Western Australia because it will bring jobs and tourism, and it’s great news for the nation because it will bring us closer to one of our biggest trade partners.”
— Nine News Perth (@9NewsPerth) April 27, 2017
About the Qantas Dreamliner
Qantas will use its new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft from Boeing, which can hold up to 236 passengers across business and economy classes.
All those people won’t be crammed in tight, however, as the Dreamliner has an extra inch of leg room in its 32-inch seats compared to other planes, and the seats are 10% wider than standard economy seats.
Making things a bit more comfortable for the nearly day-long flight, the seats also have a greater recline range than standard economy seats.
Joyce said that comfort was comfort was a key consideration for the Perth to London flight.
“When we designed the interior of our 787s, we wanted to make sure passengers would be comfortable on the extended missions the aircraft was capable of,” he said.
The Dreamliner also includes bigger windows, reduced cabin noise, and anti-turbulence technology.
Significantly better fuel efficiency ensures that the Dreamliner can meet the demands of such a long flight without needing to make a stopover.
In economy, the Dreamliner has a 1-2-1 seat layout, which airlines believe is a much less cramped configuration.
US planespotters given a treat, after the biggest Dreamliner aircraft successfully completed its first test flight. https://t.co/7fOMSZTQvz
— 7 News Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) March 31, 2017
It also continues Qantas’s trend of having a ‘premium economy’ class section, which boasts larger seats, better room, and more legroom for those who can’t quite justify the cost of a business class seat.
And when it comes to business class, the Qantas Dreamliner boasts a massive amount of legroom at 45 inches, and a seat width of 24 inches.
How much will your seats cost?
· Economy: $2,270
· Premium economy: $4,250
· Business class: $9,725
Despite the extra comfort, there are some who doubt the success of the Perth-London flight.
David Flynn, the editor of Australian Business Traveller, believes that this direct flight is not for everyone.
“There’s clearly a premium to be paid for flying non-stop, but not everybody will want to spend 17-plus hours in the air,” he said.
“For many travellers, a stop-over won’t just be a matter of economics, but sanity.”
Direct long-haul flights from Melbourne to London and from Sydney to London are reportedly also in the works.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) April 27, 2017