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.
London to Perth flight exceeds expectations one year after launch
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.
Share PA Mar 26th 2019 2:16AM A non-stop flight between the UK and Australia has “exceeded expectations” one year on from its historic launch.
Qantas’ service between the city of Perth, on the west coast of Australia, and London Heathrow became the UK’s longest non-stop regular passenger flight when it was launched in March last year.
Despite the mammoth 17-hour journey, the airline says nearly every flight over the past year has been full, with the service turning a profit “almost immediately”.
“There were a lot of expectations around this flight, both within Qantas and the broader community, and frankly it’s exceeded them,” said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.
“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.”
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner service covers 9,009 miles, which is 24% further than the UK’s previous longest route, operated by Garuda Indonesia between Heathrow and Jakarta (7,275 miles).
During its first 12 months in operation, the link has carried 155,000 passengers, with flights 94% full on average, compared to the industry average of 80%.
The average flight time from Perth to London was 17 hours and one minute – but its fastest journey clocked in at 16 hours and 19 minutes.
“We didn’t plan to regularly break speed records in both directions,” said Mr Joyce. “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.”
Just under 60% of passengers on the London-Perth leg are from Australia, with UK residents making up the majority of overseas passengers at 31%, while the route has been heralded for boosting tourism in Western Australia.
The airline has also given an insight into the habits of its passengers, with Mission Impossible: Fallout named as the most-watched film on the route.
The most popular meals for customers in business class were barramundi and beef and Yorkshire pudding, with a glass of red wine, while white wine was the top choice in economy, alongside Guinness beef pie with potato mash.
The world’s longest regular passenger flight is operated by Qatar Airways between Doha and Auckland, at 9,025 miles.
Qantas is working on Project Sunrise, which could see the first direct flights from Sydney to London.