The first Qantas non-stop flight between Perth and London will take off on Monday for the first time in over two years.
Flight QF9, operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, is scheduled to depart from Perth at 6:50pm on Monday, landing at London Heathrow after more than 17 hours in the air.
The first leg of the flight, which connects Melbourne and Perth, will take off at 3:15pm local time, and land in Perth four hours later.
It comes just weeks after the Western Australia government confirmed that Qantas will restart the iconic Kangaroo route this month, three weeks ahead of schedule. The QF9 Perth-London route, the only current route that connects Australia and the UK, was originally scheduled to resume on 19 June.
It also comes as Qantas prepares for the launch of a new route from Perth to Rome on 22 June, with QF5 scheduled to operate three times per week initially. The airline said this flight is the only direct service between Australia and mainland Europe.
The popular Perth-London route has been on pause since the beginning of the pandemic, with Qantas opting to shift the layover from eastern states headed to London from Perth to Darwin due to WA’s “conservative border policies”.
The decision was made after Darwin was utilised on a number of occasions for Qantas’ international COVID repatriation flights and has been in commercial operation since Australia’s international border restrictions eased on 1 November 2021.
“With one of our flagship London routes heading back to Perth and the Rome take-off just around the corner, it’s clear that Western Australia is back on the international travel map,” a Qantas spokesperson said.
“We know that Western Australians love our direct flight to the UK and we’re seeing huge demand on these services already. It’s also terrific news for UK passengers who can stop off and enjoy all that the west coast has to offer.”
Meanwhile, the airline’s QF1 route, which operates from Sydney-Singapore-London on the airline’s flagship A380 aircraft, will resume from 19 June, meaning Darwin will no longer operate as an entry or exit port for Qantas flights to London.
As of Monday, Qantas will be operating QF1 from Melbourne-Perth-London six times per week – with flights departing every day except Thursdays.
“We are proud to welcome this important connection back to Western Australia,” Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said earlier this month.
“This direct route between Perth and London made history when it was first launched, and along with the upcoming Perth to Rome route, its early return firmly positions WA as Australia’s western gateway to Europe.
“Re-establishing international and interstate flight routes is a key part of our $195 million Reconnect WA package, and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors from Europe back to WA safely, through these direct services.”
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Roger Cook said the UK is a “key visitor market” for WA and welcomed the early return of direct flights from Perth.
“The two direct connections from Perth to London and Rome will provide a huge boost in the number of visitors coming to WA from Europe, which will create more jobs in our tourism, entertainment and hospitality industries, and inject millions into our state’s economy.
“This is yet another sign of confidence that WA is open for business and open for tourism.
“We strongly encourage our European friends to take advantage of these direct services to come to Western Australia, visit family and friends, and most importantly, Wander out Yonder into our regions and explore all the incredible attractions our state has to offer.”