Qantas will begin flying between Perth and Johannesburg from November 1, fulfilling its long-harboured ambition to take on the 11 hour trek.
The flights will run three days a week on an Airbus A330 with 27 business suites and 224 economy seats, but no premium economy, to the following schedule:
- QF65 would depart Perth at 3pm, to reach Johannesburg at 8.15pm the same day
- QF66 would be wheels-up from Johannesburg at 10:00pm, arriving into Perth at 1.15pm the following day
Seats will be released for sale later today, Friday June 24.
The route was previously exclusive to South African Airways, although the beleaguered carrier stopped flying to Perth in early 2020 as the pandemic set in.
Qantas cites the large South African community in Perth as fuelling demand for people visiting family and friends as well as business and leisure travellers; and as with its flights from Perth to London and Rome, Qantas also expects travellers from many other Australian cities will head to Perth for their Jo'burg trip.
That said, the airline’s existing Sydney-Johannesburg Boeing 787 service will not only remain but see a boost from four flights per week to daily as of October 30.
Qantas initially hoped to challenge SAA on the Perth-Johannesburg route in late 2018, with four direct Airbus A330 flights a week running on a seasonal basis from November-March.
However, in June 2018 the airline revealed it had scrapped those plans due to ongoing disputes with Perth Airport – particularly with regard to Qantas' desire to run its Perth flights from the international wing of its integrated T3/T4 hub, rather than Perth's dedicated T1 international terminal used by other airlines.
This would streamline connection for Qantas' domestic passengers flying to Perth to make the journey to Johannesburg, and remove the need for aircraft to be towed between the domestic and international terminals.
Ahead the return flight to Perth, lounge-worthy passengers would have access to British Airways’ Johannesburg lounge, which the Oneworld member describes as incorporating “the best of British and South African design.”