Tomorrow, March 24th – Qantas will launch the first regularly scheduled direct flight between Europe and Australia, with the debut flight from Perth, Western Australia to London Heathrow. The flight time, budgeted at over 17 hours, makes it instantly one of the longest flights on earth. But tomorrows milestone is just the latest in a series of aviation marvels involving the “Kangaroo Route”. Here are ten cool facts about the history of this Qantas flight.
1947: Qantas Kangaroo Route
In 1947 Qantas launched its first Kangaroo Route service. The journey from Sydney included stops in Darwin, Singapore, Calcutta, Karachi, Cairo and Tripoli. The original Kangaroo route launched in 1935, when Qantas connected passengers to Imperial Airways.
Reduced Jet Lag
The new direct flight, launching March 24th, 2018 will be operated by a Boeing 787-9. The plane is amongst the newest and best planes in the world, with jet lag reducing technology including better air pressure, less noise, larger windows and lavatories with window views!
130 Weeks Of Earnings
In the early 1950’s during the launch of the Kangaroo route, a Kangaroo route fare cost £585, which at the time was equivalent to 130 weeks of average pay. That’s more than two years of work for a single air journey – in economy!
Many people mistakenly believe that the new Qantas flight between London Heathrow and Perth will be the world’s longest. In fact, the Qatar Airways Doha to Auckland flight will remain the longest in the world by distance, at 9,032 miles – roughly 20 more than this new route.
1959 Jet Flights
The first “modern” jet airplanes to operate the Kangaroo route launched in 1959, with the Boeing 707. Prior to this period, Lockheed Super Constellation and BOAC Britannia aircraft were primarily used. These beautiful planes will forever be associated with the golden age of travel.
Qantas will time everything during the flight around “destination time”. Eating, drinking, sleeping and relaxing on destination time is a key tenet of fighting jet lag and this new launch has been tested with wellbeing practices to minimize the (insane) jet lag passengers will face.
In 1971, the Boeing 747 began operating the adored route for Qantas. The magnificent “Queens of The Skies” airplane offered more seats and faster travel times, which cut airfares dramatically, bringing travel to more and more people. It’s still flying to this day!
The 17:20 minute, 9,010 mile Qantas flight between London and Perth will instantly become the longest flight operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This marks the second Boeing aircraft which has broken records on this route.
Non Stop Sydney
In 1989 Qantas flew a one off London to Sydney non-stop flight with a duration of 20 hours. The plane, a Boeing 747-400 broke all previous longest flight records at the time. To this day, it’s the longest flight a Boeing 747-400 has ever flown non-stop. Let’s hope they do it again.
Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner will offer a total of 236 seats, with 42 business, 28 premium economy and 166 economy class seats. Business class will be four seats across, Premium Economy seven across and economy will be nine seats, in groups of three.
Will you be testing out this incredible new route with Qantas?