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With its Boeing 787 service between Perth and London now flying high, Qantas is already looking ahead to bringing Paris back onto its route map as early as the end of 2019.
Speaking with media on the inaugural QF9 flight from Perth to London, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said Paris was the next city he hoped the long-range Dreamliner could conquer.
“When we last did Paris it was from Singapore to Paris and it was three a week and it was hard to make it economically work,” Joyce reflected.
“We (now) have the rights to fly to Paris daily; we’ve never had those rights before,” he said, with the higher frequency boosting its appeal to business and leisure travellers alike.
“So we are keen on it, we are interested in it, but we need to bed this one down first,” Joyce said of the new Perth-London route. "We need to show that economically it’s going to work out.”
But the early signs look positive, Joyce revealed. “Bookings are particularly strong in premium classes and for the next month we have 90 percent load factor," he said, adding that as many as 60% of those bookings were to or from Perth and 40% for other cities such as Melbourne and Brisbane.
Qantas will run a rolling assessment of the flight's profitability every month and cast a major review in March 2019, at which point the airline hopes to have the confidence to announce non-stop flights to Paris, perhaps with Frankfurt to follow.