It’s no secret that Qantas has been considering flying non-stop from Perth to London as early as next year, using its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. But it seems this new flight, which would be one of the world’s longest, may not go ahead after all.
Qantas will receive its first Boeing 787 aircraft in late 2017. Qantas has promised that tickets for its first 787 flights would be on sale by Christmas, but the airline is yet to announce any new routes for the Dreamliner.
Given the aircraft’s long range, there has been a great deal of speculation that a non-stop flight from Perth to London would be announced. But a breakdown in negotiations between Qantas and Perth Airport is jeopardising the future of these flights.
Qantas currently operates out of Terminals 3 and 4 in Perth. International flights currently depart from Terminal 1. These terminals are not connected, and transferring between terminals involves a 15-minute bus trip. In order to make Perth an attractive transit point for passengers connecting from across Australia to the London flight, Qantas is seeking to operate the London flight from Terminal 3 or 4. The problem is that Perth Airport would need to be modified, with the addition of international customs & immigration facilities in the Qantas terminal. These modifications are estimated to cost at least $25 million. Qantas appears unwilling to pay for this, with the burden now falling on Perth Airport or the WA government, should the flights go ahead.
Some members believe that the cost of reconfiguring the terminal would be justified by the long-term benefit for Qantas, Perth Airport and the West Australian economy.
Surely some agreement can be made. The ability for Qantas to consolidate on the Western side gives it a leg up for no other reason then saving 15 minutes getting to and from the airport. Would be brilliant to have JQ and QFi housed on the western side (from a Perth perspective)! For WA – surely people routing through Perth both ways is a good thing – and the potential for it to be more than just LHR as well. Split the cost and be on with it!
But other members are not so sure that the economic benefit stacks up.
Using T3/T4 will bring no benefit at all to WA. Passengers that will bring a benefit to WA will stop and therefore will not care what terminal they use.
If the new route goes ahead, it will be the first non-stop commercial flight between Australia and Europe. All flights between Australia and Europe currently require at least one stop, generally in Asia or the Middle East. The route would cut travel times and allow Qantas to offer one-stop connections to London from almost all major cities in Australia. It’s music to the ears of many travellers, although not everyone is convinced…
18+ hours without a break in a cramped Y seat? No thanks. I’ll take the larger seats on the A380 with a shower and stretch of my legs half way through in Dubai every time.
Perth to London is not the only new route on the cards for the Dreamliner. Qantas is reportedly also considering direct flights from Sydney to Chicago, and Melbourne to Dallas.
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