Qantas makes history with 17-hour Australia-Europe flight

Qantas Philip Capps and David Caon

Qantas Philip Capps and David Caon

"From today it will be the first link between Australia and Europe that has ever occurred non-stop in aviation", he told reporters at a launch event.

At 14,498km, it is the third longest commercial flight now in operation. The flight will run daily. QF9 is operated by four pilots across the 17-hour journey, with one or two pilots resting at any one time.

The plane's exterior special indigenous livery design is based on the artwork Yam Dreaming by Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

For the inaugural flight tickets were available, starting from $1,099 for a one-way, and $1,428 for a round-trip in the economy class.

Passengers on this route have the chance to experience Qantas' new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, delivered to the airline recently.

Such a configuration reflects both the business-heavy nature of the routes the airline will operate the aircraft on, but it is also optimised to provide the payload-range performance necessary for ultra long-haul routes like Perth-London, which will the longest route yet operated by the 787. Meal options were created to maintain hydration, aid sleep and reduce jet lag and included a main meal, mid-flight, morning bakery and breakfast menus, as well as a free-for-all snack cabinet passengers could access throughout the flight.

The new flight - the longest now operated by an Australian carrier and also the longest flight into or out of the United Kingdom - represents a new chapter in the airline's services to Europe.

Each bed is 80 inches long.

The plane has 42 business class flat-bed seats, 28 premium economy seats and 166 economy seats.

"I think Qantas' designers have really thought about the little extras like storage space, charging ports, the footrest is really good".

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The Qantas Dreamliner has a capacity of 236 passengers. An airline spokesman said there were markets for both types of flights with price, timing and connections among the factors.

Previous flights to and from Australia had a stopover in either Singapore or the Middle East, but removing the stopover has taken three hours off the flight time.

The 17-hour Qantas Dreamliner service is now the fastest way to travel to Australia from Europe.

Flying from Australia to London in 1935 took 12 1/2 days.

Qantas has also adjusted the timings of some domestic flights in Australia to allow passengers to fly into Perth from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane to catch the QF9.

"This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel", he said.

The new Perth to London route is the second longest in the world after a Qatar Airways service between Doha and Auckland that covers 9,028 miles (14,529 km).

In addition to notable advantages for passengers, the new aircraft is more environmental-friendly.

This flight traveled at around 900 kilometers per hour and used 20 percent less fuel than similar sized airplanes.

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