Qantas, Air France in talks over direct Australia-Paris flights

Non-stop Boeing 787 flights between Perth and Paris are back on the radar.

By David Flynn, February 6 2023
Qantas, Air France in talks over direct Australia-Paris flights

Qantas boss Alan Joyce comfirms the airline’s in discussions with Air France about the prospect of launching direct flights between Perth and Paris – and additional European destinations may be on the way too.

If those Paris talks come to fruition, the route would shore up Perth’s status as the Red Roo’s western “international hub”, joining its existing daily hops to London, in addition to seasonal flights to Rome, which will return in time for this year’s European summer.

“We’d love to be able to do more” destinations from Perth, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce told Perth radio station 6PR on Friday.

“We want to do Paris and we’re talking to Air France and other European airlines about how we could do that.”

Joyce’s reference to “other European airlines” appears to be framed beyond the scope of just Paris. In the past, he’s cited destinations in Germany such as Berlin and Frankfurt, which the airline previously flew via Singapore before axing the route in 2013.

“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 has previously noted.

Likewise, “Germany is still a big market and it’s been hard for us in the past when we were flying through a hub, so the opportunity there is actually quite real.”

Paris has repeatedly been highlighted as Qantas’ next non-stop trek from Perth.

Boeing Dreamliner to become a ‘Seineliner’?

The 16-hour trek to Paris would be flown by Qantas’ ultra-long range Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, three of which are set to join the red-tailed fleet in June this year, Joyce told 6PR’s Ollie Peterson during the ‘Perth Live’ show.

The reactivation of the final four Airbus A380s across this year will also free up several Dreamliners to help undertake new routes.

But treating travellers to more flights from Perth to Europe and even Asia depends on Qantas and Perth Airport solving the bottleneck in customs facilities at the international wing of Qantas’ Perth terminal, Joyce noted.

This has already led to the suspension of planned year-round flights to Jakarta and Johannesburg, Joyce said, and would stymy further expansion of the Perth-based international network.

“Unfortunately we’re probably paused in terms of expansion until we can reach agreement with (Perth) airport,” Joyce said, adding that while “we’d love to move across to the other side” of the airport and its expanded Airport Central international terminal precinct “that’s going to be years away, and we need a long-term deal with perth airport in order to get that.”

“We’re still in dialog with Perth airport (and) we’re hoping that we can reach agreement because it will unlock a huge amount of growth.”

That growth could include a raft of routes to Asia on new extended-range single-aisle jets such as Jetstar’s Airbus A321LR and, arriving in late 2023, the Qantas Airbus A220.

“On top of potentially Paris and other destinations in Europe we’re taking one new aircraft every month this year and some of these aircraft are narrow-bodies that can fly from Perth to a huge range of destinations in Asia, and we’d love to be able to expand our operations from Perth into Asia… if we could get an agreement from (Perth) airport to do that.”

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 268

What is the exact benefit for Australians on the East coast to even consider this flight? ME3 + SEA airlines all have this connectivity already. It's essentially a direct flight for 7% of the country in reality. 

And we're unlikely to see AF's La Premiere on this route as well, so aside from Qantas points, I'm genuinely curious why people would rather take this?

01 Dec 2012

Total posts 35

What is the benefit? Well, judging by the high loadings I've observed on QF 9/10 London and QF 5/6 Rome services (especially in premium classes), plenty of people from eastern Australia, as well as overseas visitors, see advantages. A few from my perspective: 

Seamless transits in Qantas Perth Terminal 3 when originating on the 787 services from Sydney or Melbourne, having already cleared immigration, and also on return. Transferring from domestic flights is also easy, with uncrowded international immigration and security areas and the option of using nearby Qantas domestic lounges if too early for the international transit lounge (hint: book on an A330 for domestic connections if possible).

Having boarded Europe legs on the Qantas 787 services, passengers can simply sit back without worrying about a crowded transit in the ME or SEA.

Qantas Perth international transit lounge is an intimate haven with great bathroom facilities and eggs cooked to order!

Often faster total journey times than on ME3 and SEA carriers.

Option of a break in Perth to catch up with friends and relatives.

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 67

Exactly this reasoning. The transit from QF domestic to QF 9 is a 100m walk. The transit at Changi (love the place) is 15 mins each way to the lounge plus fighting the crowds all the way. QF 9 and the transit is perfect for what I want in terms of transit. 

09 Feb 2021

Total posts 1

Maybe if by East Coast you mean Sydney and Melbourne only.  The direct flight from Perth gives 1-stop service to Paris for people in places such as Canberra, Adelaide, or Hobart.

Some people may wish to avoid transiting in the gulf states, for various reasons.  And Qantas's business class is a definite step up from Emirates on its 777.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 268

I think my point was more to the fact that this website is putting it as if it's a direct flight for everyone - it's not. It's almost a direct flight for no one except Perth passengers.  

And taking away the point end experience, is Economy for 17 hour straight really better than breaking it up after 12? For some it might be.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 30

I see the benefit if you're at the pointy end of the plane. But for an economy pax travelling from the east coast to London, I can't for the life of me see why you'd want to break your journey in Perth and still have 17+ hours in cattle class to LHR when you get back on the plane. I'm pretty sure I'd rather spend my time on the ground wandering around Dubai or Changi rather than Perth.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1435

I prefer a short leg than a long leg even in economy. Two longish legs in crowded airports don’t cut it for me. Via Perth most times for me. The Singapore first lounge could swing it though. Dubai forget it.

06 Mar 2020

Total posts 4

I'd rather spend my time wandering around Changi, be a pointy end PAX or economy (pleb).  Dubai, in my humble opinion, is a cold, unwelcoming airport.  The lounges might be nice, but from what I have seen for the 'plebs', and I have often been a 'pleb', not nice, compared to Changi.  Personally, I think Changi Airport is the best airport in the world and I will always try to transit through there on my way to my once a year overseas holiday, be it Europe or Asia.

03 May 2021

Total posts 36

You know these flights from Europe to Australia are full of west aussies too, the Qantas direct is by a large majority people starting or finishing in perth

06 Oct 2021

Total posts 3

The possibility of earning points and redeeming them for upgrades, for example, should not be dismissed easily. Also status perks like lounge access and phone support in case of interruptions are quite relevant to me.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 359

I'll keep going via Singapore, there is just no appeal to go via Perth. Bring on Brisbane - Chicago.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 148


With you all the way. Nothing against Perth, it's a nice place. But Singapore in general and Changi Aiport in particular remains the most favoured stopover/transit point for millions of Australians. The cries of joy and relief when QF switched back to SIN from DXB were in no short supply on this very website!


11 Jul 2014

Total posts 895

Paris isn't on my favourite list along with Perth, flights direct from the East Coast may tempt me but there has to be better destination than Paris. I'd be really interested why Paris gets volume. Is it the one-timers travelling there "We have to go to Paris".


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1435

Paris is headquarters of the OECD plus lots of other business. Not to mention the obvious tourism.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2013

Total posts 42

Paris is a wonderful tourist destination. an exquisite place


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 389

What's the point of Qantas flying Perth-Paris (Europe ++)? I guess based on that you could question why does Qantas fly anywhere when there are already other competitive options? The airline has to innovate and as any business spread its reach and grow, and having a growth strategy with its own equipment more suitable and economic then it should do that, and keep doing that.


14 Jan 2013

Total posts 18

One of the problems of these ultra long flights is the much higher probability that you’ll have to divert somewhere else. 

QF22 last week had a stop in Auckland

QF9 yesterday had an extra stop in Frankfurt. 

These extra stops make the convenience of flying direct from Australia to these far flung destinations pretty inconvenient. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 363

The reason for both of these stops weren’t due to fuel or engineering etc. The 787 has the legs for these flights, there are other reasons like medical that can cause a diversion


14 Jan 2013

Total posts 18

So my statement about ‘higher probability’ of a diversion is correct?

On a 17.5 hour journey there is more opportunity for a diversion than on a 7 hour flight (MEL - SIN for example) where the flight may continue to it’s final destination for a resolution to the medical emergency etc. rather diverting to the nearest location. 


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2015

Total posts 19

ji ... given the QF9's diversion was due to a very serious medical issue in flight and the recommendation to get the ill passenger to urgent medical attention I don't know if this would be a valid argument. Any airline flying anywhere in the world could experience the same and when you think about the number of ultra-long haul flights each airline undertakes vs the number off diversions it will still give many people the opportunity of overall reduced travel times. The good thing is that we have options

Etihad - Etihad Guest

11 May 2018

Total posts 4

Hmm... A route with a stop will always require more time on planes than the non-stop alternative.

It's possible that there's a greater probability of experiencing a diversion at some point on two 9-hour flights vs. one 16-hour flight.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 128

The biggest constraint to the growth of Perth airport is Perth Airport…

21 Aug 2019

Total posts 67

Since a lot of my work is involved in Northern Europe, getting to Paris and then being able to head over to Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan etc is convenient. Trains across Europe make more sense than flying. Personally prefer the more relaxed transit at Perth from Sydney rather than the frantic 90 mins at Changi. 

28 Sep 2022

Total posts 4

Afraid Paris doesn't cut it for me, much prefer Perth-Dubai-Lyon with a good connection, overnight in Lyon more central for a car trip south.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Mar 2022

Total posts 13

Would’ve thought FRA would’ve been the next destination for the PER launching point considering it’s mega hub status and flights into Sth / Eastern Europe. 

FCO makes sense as a seasonal route, but I can see demand for FRA year round for business and tourists having high frequencies elsewhere in Germany, into Italy and elsewhere. 

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 451

It could well work.I have done via Singapore to London and via Doha to Budapest and would prefer a via Perth option to the bigger cities(This was out of Adelaide)with a Transfer at the European Hub to those overlooked parts of the map.dealing with strip searching and invasions of privacy via the Middle East no thanks no matter how good the airport/airline is for me again.

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