Qantas CEO says Perth-London flights prove western hub concept – Australian Aviation

Qantas CEO says Perth-London flights prove western hub concept - Australian Aviation

UK-Australia direct flights: First year success increases chance for non-stop trips to Sydney

One year since it opreated its first nonstop Perth-London flight, Qantas has lauded it as a major success for the company and Australian tourism.

The airline released a special report card to commemorate one year since its first flight on the route, which shows that the average load factor on the route has been around 94% on its 236-seat Boeing 787-9s.

There were a lot of expectations around this flight, both within Qantas and the broader community, and frankly its exceeded them, commented chief executive Alan Joyce.

He adds that the strong loads mean the route turned a profit almost immediately, which is rare for new services because they have start-up costs and it normally takes time to build demand.

One year ago – the arrival of the first Qantas Boeing 787-9 from Perth nonstop to London Heathrow on 25 March 2018

The airline also released data showing that just under 60% of passengers on the route originate from Australia, with 31% from the United Kingdom. Of those passengers originating in Australia, around half start their journey in Perth, 25% from Melbourne where the flight commences, 7% from Sydney and 6% from Brisbane.

A year of operating this route shows that a hub in Western Australia [state] connecting Australia to the world works really well. We have people coming from the east coast to join the flight and its made it a lot easier for people in Europe to visit Australia, says Joyce.

The airline has previously noted that the success of the Perth-London route could see it launch services via the western hub to Frankfurt and Paris. For now though, those plans are on hold because of a pricing dispute between Perth airport and Qantas.

Operationally, the route has also been a strong performer, with only four services cancelled over the year, giving it a reliability rating of 99.5%.

Although the flight is scheduled to take around 17h, a number have arrived into Perth earlier than scheduled due to favourable weather conditions, with some of the flights in both directions breaking speed records.

We didnt plan to regularly break speed records in both directions. The current title holder arrived into Perth from London a full hour ahead of schedule thanks to prevailing winds and our new flight planning system, says Joyce.

Qantas has just revealed what passengers are really getting up to on those marathon, non-stop flights between Perth and London.

News.com.au entertainment writer Andrew Bucklow takes you on a point of view journey through a Qantas flight in first class.

Qantas has lifted the lid on how passengers are spending those epic Dreamliner flights between Perth and London. Picture: QantasSource:Supplied

Its been one year since Qantas made history with its non-stop flights between Perth and London, directly linking Australia and the UK by air for the first time.

When the first Dreamliner took off on that maiden flight from Perth, many cringed at the idea of a bum-numbing 17-hour non-stop flight — how would passengers survive the marathon journey?

Despite initial suggestions the Perth-London service was underperforming, new figures from Qantas indicate the route has been pretty successful for the Flying Kangaroo — and also reveal exactly how passengers are spending all those hours in the air.

Qantas has released its report card on the first year of the Dreamliner flights between Perth and London. Picture: QantasSource:Supplied

According to Qantas, the Dreamliner planes that service the route are, on average, 94 per cent full — a fair chunk above the industry average of around 80 per cent.

In the first 12 months, most passengers have been from Australia with about a third from overseas — mainly the UK — and they’ve injected about $1.1 million into the Perth economy.

The average time of the Perth to London service is 17 hours and one minute, but one flight broke the speed record when it clocked in at 16 hours and 19 minutes.

The average flight time of the London to Perth service is 16 hours and five minutes, but a Dreamliner managed to make that run in 15 hours and 15 minutes.

“We didn’t plan to regularly break speed records in both directions,” Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said.

“The current titleholder arrived into Perth from London a full hour ahead schedule thanks to prevailing winds and our new flight planning system.”

So far, there have been more than 450,000 meals served on the Perth-London flights, with almost 42,000 served.

White wine is the most popular wine choice in economy, while in business class and premium economy passengers prefer red.

White wine is popular in economy, but people with more expensive tickets opt for red. Picture: QantasSource:Supplied

In economy, the most popular meal is the Guinness beef pie with potato mash, while in business class, it’s a split between the Cone Bay barramundi and the beef and Yorkshire pudding.

The most popular television shows have been Ballers, Billions and Modern Family — which has long been travellers’ top TV choice on planes.

And the seat on the plane that has spent more time watching the in-flight entertainment screen than any other seat on board is 56F.

Passengers who have sat in 56F have, together, spent 9134 hours watching TV shows and movies, a whole 100 hours more than any other seat.

Of the outbound passengers, about 25 per cent are from Melbourne, 7 per cent from Sydney, 6 per cent from Brisbane and 4 per cent from Adelaide, suggesting the flights from Perth are attracting people from across the country.

“There were a lot of expectations around this flight, both within Qantas and the broader community, and frankly it’s exceeded them,” Mr Joyce said.

“A year of operating this route shows that a hub in WA connecting Australia to the world works really well. We have people coming from the east coast to join the flight, and it’s made it a lot easier for people in Europe to visit Australia.

“Almost every flight is full, and it turned a profit almost immediately, which is rare for new services because they have start-up costs and it normally takes time to build demand.

“The work we put into managing passenger jet lag and designing a comfortable cabin has paid off. It’s the longest flight on our entire network, but it has the highest level of customer satisfaction.”

Mr Joyce said there had been only been four cancelled flights out of 720 planned services and a reliability rating of 99.5 per cent.

We go behind the scenes of the new Qantas Dreamliner to see parts of the plane we dont usually get to see.

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