International News

    World’s second-longest flight touches down in London from Perth

    If you get fidgety on long flights but have no option but to travel, there is some good news – especially for air travellers between Australia and England.
    The first direct flight between Australia and Britain has touched down in London, in what has been described as a “historic day for aviation”.
    Taking off on Sunday from the western city of Perth, it cut flying time by roughly three hours by skipping stopovers in Singapore or the Middle East, Qantas officials said.
    Weary passengers on the 17-hour flight, operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, touched down in London at 5.05am this morning, having covered a distance of 14,484 km. Just to put the time into perspective, travellers would have had time to sit through the first seven of the eight Harry Potter movies.
    It is the world’s second-longest flight after a Qatar Airways service between Doha and Auckland that covers 14,529 km, or just 45 km more than the stretch from Perth to London.
    The flight marked a “historic day for aviation”, said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.
    “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. “We are so excited.”

    About 730,000 British tourists visit Australia every year and the new service could boost interest in the state of Western Australia, often overlooked in favour of the country’s east coast, said Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo.
    “There will be more opportunity than ever before for us to continue to showcase and highlight all the very best parts of Australia, including some of the most magnificent and iconic parts of Western Australia,” he said.
    Before the new service, the longest flight to Britain was a journey of 11,708 km between Heathrow and Jakarta, operated by Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier.
    Qantas plans to introduce non-stop flights from Australia’s east coast to Britain in the next few years.

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