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Direct flights from London to Australia have finally been confirmed

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Chris Sayer
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Surfing perfect waves, BBQing like a champ and hugging a koala on other side of the world is about to get a whole lot faster, and slightly less brain-destroyingly tedious, thanks to the announcement that the world’s longest non-stop passenger flight, from London to Perth in Australia, will take off for the first time in 2018.

Aussie national airline Quantas has said their fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will begin to fly the 9,000-mile (14484-kilometre) flight in 17.5 hours with zero layovers in March of that year – a distance greater than any other commercial airline route ever, and in a time that could see you watch 18 episodes of Game Of Thrones back-to-back and eat a lot of stodgy in-flight chicken and pasta. 

For some tasty historical context, when Qantas created the Australia-UK “Kangaroo Route” back in 1947, it took a soul-crushing four days and nine stops. That’s a lot of stodgy in-flight chicken and pasta. Before that, in 1938 a trip from London to Brisbane (the longest on offer at the time) took 11 days and had over two dozen stops. Surely no holiday is worth that.

Nowadays, Southern hemisphere-hungry holiday makers are suffering anywhere between 21 and 26 hours in the air, with stopovers on the way to Sydney including New Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. 

The news adds to what’s been a pretty epic year for commercial aviation and for people who like to get places real fast, as just last month Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson told the world he’s developing the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator – a new jet set to hit the runway in the early 2020’s, will be 10 percent faster than Concorde and that will be able to rocket Brits to New York in three-and-a-half hours.

The record-breaking new Quantas journey will take the long-haul crown from Emirates Airlines' 8,800-mile (14,200-kilometre) Dubai-to-Auckland service, which takes 16 hours 35 minutes. Tickets will go on sale in April 2017, with no indication just yet as to how much they’ll set you back. 

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Chris Sayer

Chris Sayer is a freelance journalist and editor based in London. Chris has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and travelled the world doing an all manner of adventures for lots of brilliant magazines. He writes for Shortlist about booze but would probably prefer we let him write about fishing instead. Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSayer00

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