Questions have been raised about the practicality of long-haul non-stop flights from London to Perth following Qantas’ announcement this week of plans for 19-hour non-stop flights between London and Sydney.
Qantas has announced it will begin direct non-stop flights from Sydney to London and New York from 2025, with a historic order for Airbus A350-1000s capable of the monumental task.
But veteran Western Australia journalist Ben Harvey argues Qantas’ decision to establish flights from London to Sydney makes flights to Perth virtually useless.
Questions have been raised about the practicality of long-haul non-stop flights from London to Perth following Qantas’ announcement this week of plans for 19-hour non-stop flights between London and Sydney. (In the photo: an Airbus flying over the Opera)
“There’s going to be f**k all Londoners wanting to come to Perth instead of Sydney…because Perth is to Sydney what Birmingham is to London,” Harvey said.
‘The Poms have two choices, fly to Perth and then take a four or five hour flight to the east coast because that’s where the cool stuff is, or fly straight to the cool stuff without being attacked by a meth zombie in an empty store outside the Hay Street shopping centre.
Social media users were most split on whether the new route would make flights from London to Perth irrelevant and what they thought was better.
One user said in response to Harvey’s statement: ‘Yeah go to Sydney, Perth is horrible right now.’
“Nothing to see in Perth,” wrote another. ‘This place is 20 years behind. Best coastline with little accommodation.’
However, many disagreed with Harvey’s assertion, with some pointing to the large proportion of British immigrants in Perth.
Qantas has announced it will start direct non-stop flights from Sydney (pictured) to London and New York from 2025
Veteran Western Australia journalist Ben Harvey (pictured) has argued that Qantas’ decision to establish flights from London to Sydney makes flights to Perth virtually useless
Those arriving from London (pictured) will have the choice of a direct non-stop flight to Sydney or Perth from 2025
One respondent argued that Perth had a “much higher proportion of British immigrants” compared to cities in the eastern states.
“Does this guy know how many UK residents we have in Perth. That’s a very large part of our population,” one commented.
A third added: ‘Because half of England lives north of Perth’.
Others shared their view that many people have family in Perth and that Western Australia’s capital is a better city to see than Sydney.
“I have family in Perth, I don’t want to fly to Sydney,” one woman said.
‘Perth always my family is there! I was in Sydney but Perth wins! another woman wrote.
One man gave a detailed response, writing: ‘Brits don’t come to Perth for the city center when they have it to spare in the UK. They come to visit us for the beaches, the sun, and a little slice of our laid back way of life – and to visit friends and family.
“There’s more to Oz than the Opera House and Bondi Beach. WA is the knees of the bees.
Many disagreed with Harvey’s claim, with some pointing to the large proportion of British immigrants in Perth
Qantas staff wave Australian and British flags on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner after it landed at Heathrow Airport on March 25, 2018, following a historic direct flight from Perth
Qantas announced this week that London-Sydney will become the world’s longest direct flight when the airline introduces flights between the two cities from 2025.
Qantas launched direct flights from Perth to London Heathrow in 2017 but has now announced an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s to “conquer the final frontier of long-haul travel”.
The non-stop flights will “make almost any city in the world a flight from Australia”, including London and New York.
It comes after ‘high demand’ for Perth-London flights due to ‘convenience and time savings’, while the new aircraft fleet ‘will set a new benchmark for high-end long-haul travel’ .
Under the new scheme, dubbed ‘Project Sunrise’, UK passengers can expect more direct flights to Australia and a ‘reduced point-to-point journey time’.
A test flight from London to Sydney in 2019 lasted 19 hours and 19 minutes.
The new aircraft will feature a seat count of 238, the lowest of its kind in service, and a dedicated wellness area designed for “movement, stretching and hydration” with water, fruit and free snacks.
First-class suites will include a private area with door, full-size flat-screen TV, separate bed, reclining chaise lounge and personal cash-in wardrobe.
The new state-of-the-art Airbus planes will take off from Sydney, connecting the city to Europe and America via non-stop flights (pictured)
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce (pictured) announced that Qantas would commit to direct non-stop flights from Sydney to London and New York from 2025 at a ceremony in an Airbus A350-1000 on Monday
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “For over 100 years, Qantas has been at the forefront of transforming the way the world travels, particularly through direct flights. Now the A350 and Project Sunrise will allow almost any city in the world to be a single flight away from Australia.
“It is the final frontier and the final solution to the tyranny of distance that has traditionally challenged travel in Australia.
“Our direct Perth-London flights started in 2017 and have shown strong demand for the convenience and time savings of this type of travel if the product and service is right.
“Pre-COVID, this was the longest route in our network and the highest customer satisfaction rating in our network. All signs point to this demand increasing post-COVID.
The first “Project Sunrise” flights will depart from New York and London, but the aircraft will also be able to operate non-stop flights to Australia from destinations such as Paris and Frankfurt.