SYDNEY Dec 11 Australia's national carrier
Qantas Airways Ltd will launch the first regular
passenger flight directly linking Australia and Europe when it
begins flights from Perth to London with Boeing 787-9
Dreamliners, the airline said on Sunday.
"When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947,
it took four days and nine stops," Qantas chief executive
officer Alan Joyce told a news conference in Perth.
"Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop."
Flights on the 14,498 km (9,000 mile) route will begin in
Federal Tourism Minister Steven Ciobo said Qantas would use
Perth as a hub for passengers from eastern Australia going to
Britain, and the service would boost employment and tourism.
Britain is Australia's third-largest source of international
visitors with more than 660,000 people coming from there to
Australia last year, and spending $3.7 billion, Ciobo said in a
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners used on the route will carry
236 passengers, Qantas said.
(Reporting by Peter Gosnell)