Direct flights from Perth to London will be introduced in 2018 from Perth Airport’s domestic terminal, marking the first time Australians will be able to fly direct to Europe.
Announcing the new non-stop service, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the 17-hour flights would be the third-longest passenger flights in the world.
Mr Joyce said the airline’s new 787 Dreamliner aircraft would be used on the route, which would operate from the domestic terminal at Perth Airport from March 2018.
The announcement came after the WA Government ended an impasse with Qantas and agreed to help fund an upgrade of the terminal.
Premier Colin Barnett said the state would contribute $14 million for capital works at the airport, to be used for the construction of quarantine and Australian Border Force infrastructure.
Qantas wanted the non-stop service to operate out of a domestic terminal, rather than the new international terminal, to make it easier for passengers with connecting flights.
Mr Barnett described the deal as “game-changing” and said the local economy could potentially benefit to the tune of more than $36 million per year.
Mr Joyce said the route would be “a watershed for travel, tourism and trade”.
“Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before, so the opportunities this opens up are huge,” he said.
“It’s great news for travellers because it will make it easier to get to London. It’s great news for Western Australia because it will bring jobs and tourism. And it’s great news for the nation, because it will bring us closer to one of our biggest trade partners and sources of visitors.”
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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