1 APRIL 2019
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Non-stop flights between London and Sydney moved a step closer last week after Qantas said its pioneering service launched a year ago linking London and Perth had proved a success.
The airline said the operation, which uses a Boeing B787 Dreamliner, had been working at 95% occupancy and the route was proving “highly profitable”, indicating “a huge market for direct travel between Europe and Australia”.
Announcing the figures, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said: “There were a lot of expectations around this flight, both within Qantas and the broader community, and frankly it’s exceeded them.”
A factor in this was the fact the route turned a profit from day one, he added. “Looking at the figures of 94% occupancy and only four cancellations in an entire year, it is no wonder we are happy with the route.”
A short-term effect of the success story is likely to be Qantas expanding services between Perth and other European countries such as France, Spain and Germany. The real target, though, is extending non-stop ultra-long-haul flights through Project Sunrise.
This envisages flying aircraft non-stop from Australia’s East Coast to the UK, Europe and possibly North America. Qantas is evaluating which aircraft to choose for the job, with the Boeing B777X and Airbus A350 both said to be under consideration.
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