Today marks a new era for both Qantas’ flagship kangaroo route and the ongoing partnership with Emirates. Later today, the first ever non-stop commercial flight from Australia to Europe will depart. The new QF9 service from Perth to London is scheduled to leave at 6.50pm local time. It will arrive in London over 17 hours later at 5.10am (local time) on Sunday morning. The new route replaces Qantas’ existing Melbourne-Dubai-London A380 service; the last of which departed last night.
In preparation for the first flight from Perth to London, Qantas’ new transit lounge at Perth Airport has opened. The new lounge has seating for up to 141 customers flying on QF9 from Perth to London, as well as those in transit from London to Melbourne when flying on the return QF10. The lounge features an outdoor terrace, 15 shower suites, a hydration station and an outdoor barbeque. Yoga classes will even be on offer to help weary travellers prepare for – or recover from – the long flight from Perth to London.
The launch of Qantas’ new non-stop Perth-London Dreamliner service is not the only change happening today. Qantas’ flagship QF1 service from Sydney to London will today operate via Dubai for the very last time. From tomorrow, QF1’s Dubai stopover will be replaced by Qantas’ traditional Asian hub of Singapore.
It has been five years since Qantas first began its extensive partnership with Emirates. In March 2013, Qantas re-routed its twice-daily A380 flights to London through Dubai instead of Singapore. Although many frequent flyers preferred (and continue to prefer) the Singapore stopover, there were some key advantages to the Dubai fuel stop. One benefit was the seamless one-stop connections available to dozens of Emirates destinations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Another great benefit, for eligible passengers, was access to the fantastic Emirates lounges in Dubai. Qantas has recently refurbished its Singapore lounge, but this lounge can get very full in the evening. Lounge overcrowding could become a real issue as Qantas adds new flights from Singapore to London and upgrades one of its two daily flights from Singapore to both Melbourne and Sydney to A380s.
Despite Qantas now bypassing Emirates’ Dubai hub, the Qantas-Emirates partnership will continue for at least another 5 years. The ACCC recently approved the continuation of the alliance.
This weekend also sees Emirates cease flights from Melbourne and Brisbane to Auckland. Emirates’ final A380 flights on both routes are today, and several AFF members will be on board to celebrate. From tomorrow, Qantas will add extra flights and upgrade some existing Boeing 737 services to larger A330s on the Brisbane-Auckland and Melbourne-Auckland routes.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: QF to Europe returns to the Kangaroo Route (via SIN)
P.S. AFF moderator JessicaTam was on the inaugural QF10 Dreamliner service! See the review of Qantas’ non-stop flight from London to Perth in Economy.