History was made this week as the first non-stop service between Australia and Great Britain landed at Heathrow on Sunday (March 25).

Qantas flight QF009 landed just after 5am following a marathon 17 hour journey from Perth. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, carrying Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, Australia’s trade & tourism minister Steve Ciobo and a number of travelling journalists, touched down at 0502 after a 9,009 mile fligh with the return journey leaving from Terminal 3 just after 1300.

Joyce said: “This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Europe and Australia have a direct air link. The original Kangaroo Route from London to Australia was named for the nine hops it took to get there over four days back in 1947. That initial flight was a modern marvel when it started, and the journey gradually became shorter over the years. Now we can do it in a single leap.
“This is hands-down the most comfortable aircraft that Qantas has ever put in the sky. Boeing designed the Dreamliner with features to reduce jetlag, turbulence and noise. We’ve taken that a step further with our cabin design, giving passengers more space in every class as well as bigger entertainment screens and more personal storage. We’ve worked with the University of Sydney and our consulting chef Neil Perry to create a menu that helps the body cope better with jetlag and adjusted the timing of when we serve food to encourage sleep.”

Simon Eastburn, Director of Airline Business Development at Heathrow, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the very first direct air link between Europe and Australia, a true milestone moment, for a hugely popular route.
We have been developing Terminal 3 to bring passengers new and exciting experiences and this new service from Qantas certainly enables that, being of real benefit to tourists, families and business travellers alike.”