Qantas Airways Makes First Non-Stop Flight Between Australia and Europe

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Qantas chairman Alan Joyce said the Australian airline had been preparing for this first direct nonstop flight ever since the airline was founded in 1921. The history-making service pushed back in Perth just before 19:00 local time on Saturday evening (below).

The Qantas flight flew more than 9,000 miles (around 14,500km) without stopping, using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

"A direct flight makes traveling to Australia a much more attractive proposition to millions of people", Joyce said in a statement.

The first ever commercial service directly linking Australia and Europe touched down in London after a seventeen hour and 5 minute journey at about 3.15pm Sunday, eastern Australia time. "Now we can do it in a single leap", Joyce said.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the airline had challenged Airbus and Boeing to produce an aircraft capable of flying direct to Heathrow and NY from Sydney and Melbourne.

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This is 24% further than the UK's existing longest route, operated by Garuda Indonesia between Heathrow and Jakarta (7,275 miles).

"The response to the flight has been incredible, both for the attention it's received since we announced it and the bookings we've seen coming in".

The flight, dubbed QF9, will run daily.

An agreement with the UAE's biggest airline, Emirates, remains in place, but Qantas opted to give new connections for their passengers and give them a greater variety of flights on their way between Europe and Australia.

The aircraft boasts a number of advantages over other models, including lower cabin noise, larger windows, improved air quality and technology to reduce turbulence.

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The idea of extreme long-haul travel has also prompted the company to consider new ways to tackle jet lag across multiple time zones.

In a Twitter post, Qantas said the flight was led by Captain Lisa Norman, Captain Jeff Foote, First Officer Dave Summergreene and Second Officer Troy Lane.

Qantas chose its newest 787, "Emily", to operate the inaugural service, which features a livery by Balarinji based on the artwork Yam Dreaming by Indigenous artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

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

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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