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Ready for take-off: Qantas launches first non-stop flight between Europe and Australia

27 March 2018

A day ahead of the launch of nonstop flights between Perth and London with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, Qantas's head of customer product says the aircraft is setting a new benchmark for customer satisfaction.

The historic Qantas flight QF9, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with more than 230 passengers and crew on board, touched down at 5.03 a.m., at Heathrow, reports the Guardian.

The Qantas flight departed from the Western Australian city of Perth, cutting about three hours off the travel time to Europe by not having stopovers in Asia or the Middle East.

"Now, on touchdown in London, with the presentation of the Platinum Planet Prize, this historical new route is instantly an award-winning route", Joyce said when presented with the award.

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Speaking at an event ahead of the inaugural flight, Captain Joyce said the earliest Qantas flights between Australia and the United Kingdom - known as the "kangaroo route" - had taken four days and involved seven stops, the BBC reported. "Now we can do it in a single leap", Joyce said.

The airline unveiled plans for the world's longest non-stop commercial flight, for the "last frontier of global aviation", back in August previous year.

But after being parked at Heathrow for eight hours, the plane was scheduled to turn right back around to Perth, for another non-stop 17 hour flight for a second run.

Qantas Airways Ltd said that its first Perth to London flight on Sunday marked the start of the only direct air link between Australia and Europe - and the fastest way of traveling between the two continents. "It's great for Australian tourism, for business travellers and for people visiting friends and family on both sides of the world".

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The new long-haul route is created to attract first of all lucrative corporate travelers who can save several hours by avoiding a stop-off, but it will definitely popular among tourists as well since Australia is becoming an attractive destination for Britons.

The aircraft boasts a number of advantages over other models, including lower cabin noise, larger windows, improved air quality and technology to reduce turbulence.

To boost passenger comfort, Qantas said it has designed a menu that includes "poke bowls as well as home style comfort food" which "helps the body cope better with jetlag". An airline spokesman said there were markets for both types of flights with price, timing and connections among the factors.

Airline Chief Executive Alan Joyce hailed the development as a "game-changer".

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Ready for take-off: Qantas launches first non-stop flight between Europe and Australia