First non-stop scheduled flight from Australia to Britain lands after 17 hours

Reports Suggest Qantas Will Cut Jobs And Sell Melbourne Terminal

Qantas' non-stop flights are ready for take off

Australian airline Qantas has made that trek less arduous with the debut of its non-stop Perth to London flight on Saturday - its travel time has been shaved down to a somewhat brisk 17 hours.

"The convenience and appeal of non-stop travel can not be underestimated", he said.

Leaving Sydney, it stopped in Darwin in northern Australia, Singapore, Calcutta in India, Karachi in Pakistan, Cairo in Egypt, Tripoli in Libya and, finally, London.

The flight has become the world's second longest, eclipsed only by the Qatar airways route from Doha to Auckland, which spans 14,529km. Using Airbus A340 airliners, the route from Singapore to New York's Newark airport was operational from 2004 to 2013.

"History made", said the premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan after the flight touched down.

Australian Tourism Minister Steve Ciobo touted the benefits the new flight would bring to the nation of about 25 million, both economically and touristically.

The route has been described as a "game-changer" for travellers, as Australia is now directly linked to the United Kingdom by air for the first time.

"For many worldwide visitors the West Australian jewels have been off limits, not because it's been unavailable to them, but because it's been too hard to get to as there's been such a focus on the East Coast", Ciobo said to ABC News Australia.

Economy fares for the London-Perth route will start at £1,095, which is considerably more expensive than a two-flight trip because of the extra cost of carrying more fuel.

"To have the opportunity to get on a plane at Heathrow and step out in Perth is just phenomenally exciting and I'm sure we are going to see lots and lots of people taking advantage of that".

The new route to London doesn't mean Qantas is ending their long-haul ambitions, as Qantas considers restarting flights to Paris and other European airports like Frankfurt if the route to London proves to be successful, which it is, according to CEO Joyce.

He added: "We believe that advances on the next few years will close the gap".

Those arriving in London in the early hours following their historic flight shared images of the welcome they received at Heathrow Airport.

"Qantas International's chief executive, Ali Webster, said Perth-London flights that originate in Melbourne were also proving popular with corporate customers like mining companies BHP and Rio Tinto, which have big offices in all three cities".

Latest News