The first non-stop flight from Australia to the United Kingdom has landed

Ready for take-off: Qantas launches first non-stop flight between Europe and Australia

First direct Australia to UK flight prepares for take off

The first flight non-stop flight between Australia and Europe has arrived at London Heathrow Airport.

Flight QF9, carrying more than 200 passengers and 16 crew, pushed back just before 7pm on Saturday 24 March and landed in London just after 5am (local time) the following day.

It took the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner just over 17 hours to complete the 9,226-mile trip and it made it ahead of the estimated time of arrival of 5.10am.

The Australian flag carrier's Chief Executive, Alan Joyce, has called the new Perth-London service a "game-changing route".

Australia is now directly linked to the United Kingdom by air for the first time with the start of the non-stop flights between Perth and London, and flights connecting the east coast could begin in 2022. "Now we can do it in a single leap", Joyce adds.

The airline is using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which is twice as fuel-efficient as the Boeing 747.

"Particular elements from the cabin environment, the seating and the comfort [levels] but also the inflight entertainment are resonating very strongly with customers", he said.

The average business-class ticket from Hong Kong to NY on non-stop flights with Cathay and United costs $8,600, compared with $7,200 on one-stop options, according to Carlson Wagonlit data, with Qantas achieving a $1,600 premium to rivals on Perth-London flights. "It's great for Australian tourism, for business travellers and for people visiting friends and family on both sides of the world".

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Qantas said the aircraft was operated by four pilots across the 17-hour journey - with one or two pilots resting at any one time - and seats 236 passengers.

Long-distance travellers were treated to new features meant to reduce the problems associated with such a long flight.

It is the UK's longest nonstop regular passenger flight and will set off back for Perth at 1.15pm on Sunday.

The new Qantas service is part of the airline's plans to eventually connect Europe with airports on Australia's east coast.

Qantas worked with the University of Sydney and consulting chef Neil Perry to create a menu that helps the body cope better with jetlag.

Captained by Lisa Norman, it was also longest Boeing Dreamliner flight in the world and the first ever direct service between the continents.

In 1947 a one-way flight between Australia and London would cost the equivalent of $35,000 in today's currency and carried 29 passengers.

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