Qantas Airways has made history with its first-ever nonstop flight from Australia to the UK in less than a day. This never-been-achieved-before feat is an indicator of the leaps and bounds made in the aviation industry over the years – a far cry from the original route that was completed in 4 days with 7 stopovers.
Now Brits looking to travel home for the holidays or any time in the year can enjoy a direct flight without having to worry about stopovers along the way.
The first flight was QF9, which left Perth on March 24, 2018 and reached London the next day. Considered a game changer for air travel, direct flights between the two countries is also expected to promote greater ties.
The first flight had 16 crewmembers and 200 passengers, leaving Perth at 7pm before arriving in London shortly after 5am the next day. Covering more than 9,000 miles, the trip lasted for a duration of 17 hours - a first of its kind.
The inaugural flight had 4 pilots operate it with rest for one or two pilots along the way. As a first in the industry, the flight was regarded as a grand success by several passengers who confirmed that it was better than they imagined.
The Boeing Dreamliner that flew from Perth to London is more fuel-efficient than the 747 aircraft and was decorated with indigenous art. Flights between the countries previously always required at least one stop for refuelling, which is what makes the 787 Dreamliner special.
In order to make the flight more comfortable, the plane was fitted with features to reduce cabin noise and enhance the quality of air inside the aircraft. Air pressure was reduced to ensure that the conditions were closer to what passengers are familiar with on the ground.
The aircraft has more legroom with fewer seats incorporated into it – 236 to be exact and boasts bigger windows than other aircrafts. Chef Neil Perry worked with nutritionists and sleep experts to design a menu meant for reducing jet lag and improving sleep. Passengers can also expect to have the humidity adjusted so that they can avoid dry skin and dry eyes on this long haul sector.
The aircraft flew over Sri Lanka, southern India, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Iran, Bulgaria, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Romania and Oman.
The main idea for the flight was to reduce travel time by eliminating all stopovers either in Asia or in the Middle East along the way.
With nearly 600,000 passengers travelling to the UK every year, the flight is bound to be a game changer for the international aviation industry.