It sat on the shelf for two years.
The ‘flying roo’ has a spring in its step today after the carrier broke another record on the maiden flight from Perth to Rome.
Qantas launched the first non-stop flight between Australia and mainland Europe on Saturday evening. The 787 Dreamliner traveled 13,400 km in 15 hours and 34 minutes.
He arrived at the Italian airport an hour before the scheduled date.
This extra efficiency was achieved by flying at an unusually high cruising altitude of 40,000 feet, well above the flight paths of congested airspaces in South Asia and Europe.
The aircraft, a three-year-old 787-9 named “Jillaroo”, was recorded at a maximum altitude of 12,200m over Jordan and the Gulf of Suez.
She landed at the Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino in Rome at 8:25 a.m. local time.
In doing so, it became the first non-stop flight between Australia and mainland Europe and slashed hours to the fastest flight time between Italy and Perth.
As the latest in Qantas’ new generation of ultra-long-haul routes. After restarting non-stop London-Perth services in May, the Dreamliner timetables are seen as a launch pad for Qantas’ more ambitious goals.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was quick to make the connection between nonstop Rome and his ultra-long-haul ambitions.
“We are seeing a growing preference for non-stop flying to and from Australia to make the travel experience as efficient and easy as possible and we expect this to be a permanent change in the way people want to travel. “, did he declare.
By 2025, the Australian carrier aims to launch direct Sydney-London and Sydney-New York services. Dubbed “Project Sunrise”, the airline will extend flights until 8 p.m.
Among the first to take the non-stop route was Prime Minister Mark McGowan, who was in Europe on a trade mission to promote Western Australia.
“The state government is committed to this new route, which is why we have invested significantly to market and promote the new Rome-Perth flights to ensure its success,” he said. The new air links are part of an A$195 million Reconnect WA package, aimed at rebuilding international connectivity from Perth.
To celebrate the launch of the route, Qantas added an Italian touch to the in-flight menu items, toasting ‘Buon viaggio! with in-flight Negroni cocktails.
Qantas says it hopes it will be a natural gateway to several other southern European leisure destinations on the Mediterranean – including Athens, Madrid, Milan and Nice