Qantas to launch non-stop flights to Rome

The Flying Kangaroo says ‘Ciao bella!’ with direct Perth-Rome flights set for takeoff.

By David Flynn, December 15 2021
Qantas to launch non-stop flights to Rome

Qantas will launch non-stop flights between Perth and Rome in June 2022, forging the first direct link between Australia and continental Europe.

The seasonal Sydney-Perth-Rome service will see three Boeing 787-9 flights per week making the 16-hour trek during the peak European holiday season from 22 June to 6 October.

It will be the second non-stop route from the WA capital since the start of Melbourne-Perth-London flights in March 2018, with that flagship route also set to return to Perth instead of the current temporary transit stopover at Darwin.

The announcement comes after Western Australia confirmed its state and international borders would reopen on February 5, 2022.

“Italy is the largest market for us in continental Europe for people visiting family and friends from Australia and we think customers will love flying direct to one of the world’s great cities to spend time with loved ones or enjoy Italy,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

“After the restrictions of the past few years, it’s the ideal time to reinvigorate our international network and we’ll continue to look for new opportunities.”

Qantas celebrates its new route to Rome with a bit of 'la dolce vita'.
Qantas celebrates its new route to Rome with a bit of 'la dolce vita'.

Qantas last flew to Rome in 2003, with a Boeing 747 which made a stopover at Bangkok.

The airline says the new flights – which will depart from Australia every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday – will cut more than three hours off the current fastest travel time to Rome.

  • QF5 will depart Sydney at 5.55pm and Perth at 10.20pm, arriving into Rome at 8.45am
  • QF6 will depart Rome at 10.50am, to reach Perth at 8.35am and Sydney at 4.05pm

In Rome, Qantas is likely to use the Terminal 3 lounge of Oneworld partner British Airways, which opened in 2018 and combines British and European design for what the airline describes as “a luxurious and contemporary look and feel.”

Qantas is likely use British Airways' Rome lounge before the flight home.
Qantas is likely use British Airways' Rome lounge before the flight home.

Sydney-Perth-Rome now on sale

Tickets went on sale this morning, with the inaugural flights to and from Rome – on 22 June and 23 June, respectively – operating as 'Points Planes' on which every seat in every cabin can be booked at the lowest number of Classic Flight Reward points until 21 December 2021.

Frequent flyers who move fast and plan ahead will be able to snap up seats at the following Classic Flight Reward rates (one-way basis):

  • 144,600 Qantas Points in business class
  • 108.400 Qantas Points in premium economy
  • 55,200 Qantas Points in economy

Qantas will use Rome’s Fiumicino International "Leonardo da Vinci" Airport and says it will "offer connections to 16 destinations in Europe including Athens, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Nice, Madrid and Paris and 15 destinations within Italy including Milan and Venice."

Australian travellers will also be able to put the Rome and London flights on a single booking, so they can fly into one city and out from another.

Qantas established Perth as an Australian gateway for European flights as current aircraft lacked the range to make direct flights from the east coast capitals, with Perth offering a familiar local alternative to established stop-overs at the likes of Singapore and Dubai.

This included opening an international wing at the nominally-domestic T3 terminal, along with a dedicated International Transit Lounge.

At the time, Joyce also talked up the possibility of direct flights to Paris and Frankfurt – two destinations now more closely associated with Project Sunrise, the airline’s ambitious plan for non-stop flights from Sydney and Melbourne using a fleet of ultra-long range Airbus A350-1000 jets.

The final go-ahead for Project Sunrise was delayed by Covid pandemic but it expected to be given the green light early 2022, with the first Sydney-London and Sydney-New York flights taking off in 2024-2025.

12 Oct 2021

Total posts 2

How do you launch a non stop route via a city?

 Qantas to launch non-stop flights to Rome via Perth”

I think you mean Qantas to launch non stop flights to Rome FROM Perth.

Also: “ forging the first direct link between Australia and Europe”

Wasn’t that PER-LHR.

London is in Europe.

Some people consider the UK to be separate to Europe, some consider it to be part of Europe, some people say 'continental Europe' to help differentiate the two. Splitting hairs though, but I see the UK and Europe as different entities.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 74

Officially speaking, London was in Europe up until the stupid Brexit happened. Now the UK is quite isolated and not in Europe any more. 

28 Apr 2017

Total posts 8

"Officially speaking", Europe and the EU are not the same thing. 

04 Nov 2020

Total posts 16

I had to read it twice to understand it, but the key word is “continental Europe “, which the UK has never been part of 😎

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2577

FYI: the original article treated the UK and Europe as separate, but it was later updated in the first line to specify Rome and this route belonging to "continental Europe". Hope everybody's happy now and can focus on rather more important matters.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 728

Sorry, living on the East Coast I'm not going to use this service, if I'm stopping somewhere Perth just won't be it. New Slogan "Boycott WA" 

31 May 2018

Total posts 9

Why are you sorry?

@s4077786 , Sorry Mr Joyce I won't be flying via Perth

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 728

@Traveller2404068 No Sorry I just won't be going to WA at all.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 74

Why the big anti WA tribe here? Sure they kept the border shut for their reasons, but that's over now?? 

Life moves on

31 May 2018

Total posts 9

But nobody is asking you to go to WA, are they?

So just don’t go. There are others who want to. 

And why apologise? The service isn’t just for you so you’re not letting anyone down by not using it. 

31 May 2018

Total posts 9

Who asked you to go? I don’t think qantas are flying this route just for you. So I don’t think they’re asking for an apology. 

15 Dec 2021

Total posts 6

Mate, WA has not only opened its borders, but is also funding $165M for direct flights from WA to Europe, India and China post-Covid. 

Sure, East Australians have payed the price for WA’s Covid response, but now they’re opening up to domestic and international arrivals and going that one step further: funding to secure new routes that were not existing pre-Covid.

It’s time to move on.

30 Aug 2019

Total posts 22

They haven't opened their borders yet. They're opening in February. 

7 weeks is a long time for McGowan to change his mind..

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 500

If you mean direct flights on foreign carriers from Perth to the rest of the world (especially Asia), this has already been the case for many years. THAI flew to Phuket and Bangkok, Singapore Airlines to Singapore, Malaysian to Kuala Lumpur, JAL to Tokyo, Cathay to Hong Kong and China Southern to Guangzhou, among others.

I doubt there will be much demand for direct WA-India services, even though the flight times wouldn't be that long. I don't see Qantas flying to China or India from Perth. Interestingly, Qantas is operating regular flights from Perth to Bangkok as I've been able to tell from Flight Aware, though these appear to be repatriation/cargo flights for the most part, but probably do carry eligible passengers. Pre-Covid, Qantas hasn't served Bangkok from Perth in many years.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 379

WA borders reopen Feb 5, not Feb 2

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Dec 2016

Total posts 74

Whether the border is open or not, if getting a straight through seat on this flight from Sydney. I expect that would allow you to still pass through airside?

Even if they had to keep the transiting passengers on the plane while refuelling should be possible??

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 230

Fantastic, this was always what I hoped to see from Perth, more non-stop flights into Europe! Hoping that Paris isn't far behind!

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 387

Thanks for the alert on this, ET, I scored a Classic Rewards seat in business class on the inaugural Sydney-Perth-Rome flight!

This is such great news, and really good to see. Who would have thought one year ago that we'd be now looking at opening up new routes like this? Fingers crossed for more to come!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1428

It seems the brawl between Qantas and Perth airport has quietly gone away to the courts to determine. Perth wouldn’t let any additional international flights from terminal 3. This seems to be the first exception, South Africa and perhaps Paris next, when they free up some more planes.

03 May 2021

Total posts 37

I can see why the brawl happened though, Perth Airport terminal 3 is really small.

15 Dec 2021

Total posts 6

That was nowhere near the reason why the brawl happened.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2018

Total posts 37

Haha. that guy on the left in the photo looks as excited to be there as I am when forced to watch the Brownlow Medal count.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 116

Gelato guy has bigger problems to deal with: like why is wearing a belt AND suspenders??? Even Monsieur LeClerc wouldn't commit that sartorial faux pas. LOL.

So much for all the comments on this website over the last 18 months that Qantas would 'punish' WA and pull out of Perth.

01 Dec 2012

Total posts 27

Yes. Whywould Qantas punish WA? What many Eastern Staters don’t seem to realise is that Perth has been Qantas’ busiest port right through the pandemic. Any weekday, there are around 100 QF flights in and out of Perth. Keeping COVID out and the resources sector firing has kept Qantas flying. WA has been the only bright spot for Virgin, too.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 327

That’s garbage, the stats don’t support that at all, Brisbane has clearly been the busiest airport in Australia by a long way during the pandemic. 

In the cases of both Perth and Brisbane you're talking about domestic flights, not international, but either way, what purpose does this "my airport is bigger than your airport" nonsense serve?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 327

Just stating the facts, I realize many people don’t like facts or stats, because they don’t support their opinions, it’s why they are still important. 

01 Dec 2012

Total posts 27

Yeah, I over-egged the traffic at Perth Airport.  BNE and PER airport-published data show that over the 12 months to November, BNE shaded PER in passenger numbers (8.2m to 6.6m for RPT and charter, domestic and international). But they have level-pegged during the past six months (3.3m) each, no doubt due to the vicissitudes of the pandemic. For comparison, SYD airport had 7.4m RPT passengers in the 12 months to September 2021 (BITRE RPT data), compared to 44m in 12 months prior to COVID.

My general point is that the relatively COVID-free states of Western Australia and Queensland have been shining lights in otherwise gloomy Qantas (and Virgin) business environments. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 500

@Airlie, I doubt that, but what I have noticed is that Qantas has been flying Perth-Bangkok quite a few times in recent weeks/months, a route that they hadn't flown pre-Covid for many years (if they ever did, not sure)?

Similarly, they've also been flying Melbourne-Bangkok, a route normally served by Jetstar.

15 Dec 2021

Total posts 6

F*** yeah! What happened to those comments saying “Qantas will punish WA forever”?

Let’s hope Paris and Frankfurt are next.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 364

Qantas might not, but the rest of Australia will. The anti WA sentiment is incredibly strong in case you didn't notice.

07 May 2021

Total posts 7

Great news!!! As someone who lives in Perth I look forward to taking this flight!

I really hope this is the start of more Perth flights for Qantas. Jo'berg or Capetown would be good contenders too, once demand for travel to South Africa comes back, as we can all agree it'll be a long time before SAA comes back to Perth, if it ever does. Paris would be a winner too. Not sure about Frankfurt as it's more of a business destination but I think Berlin would have strong appeal. None of these need to be daily, either, they could be 3x or 4x weekly, as people will generally fit their holiday schedule around the timetable, and the idea of doing Sydney or Melbourne to Rome and then hopping across to the UK for the return flight from London is also smart.

16 Feb 2017

Total posts 25

Why Rome rather than Paris or Frankfurt ? Is it due to the better Covid situation in Italy relative to France & Germany ? And - does the flight connect with the Melbourne flights that continue on to London ? And has anyone fact checked the 3 hour time saving ? 22 hrs 50 mins is not 3 hrs faster from Sydney than the likes of Qatar or SQ ! 

"Why Rome rather than Paris or Frankfurt ?" I don't think this has anything to do with the COVID situation, we are talking about these flights being in June, that's six months away and if you are trying to factor COVID into your decisions you can barely plan ahead six weeks. I would have thought that Paris would be more popular for Aussie holiday makers, Frankfurt is more a business destination, but Qantas would have had solid data on which to base the decision to go with Rome, and there might also be some financial incentives from a Rome or Italy tourism body, that also happens with airlines launching new routes.

It's in the article.

“Italy is the largest market for us in continental Europe for people visiting family and friends from Australia and we think customers will love flying direct to one of the world’s great cities to spend time with loved ones or enjoy Italy,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

So, unsurprisingly, the reason is that they think they can make the most $ with this route.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 500

@grahama - here's one reason why (in my opinion): there is definitely a larger Italian diaspora in Australia compared with French or German.

To my knowledge it's easier to get into France if you are a vaccinated Australian...only marginal but I think no PCR test required, as in Italy. And no, depending on connections I think Etihad is the quickest.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 327

Be good if QF could still maintain some services through Darwin, Perth is out for any of us in northern Australia, otherwise we will have to get to Singapore and connect there.

15 Dec 2021

Total posts 1

Interesting that they are using QF5 and QF6 as the flight numbers, which were first used for flights to Rome back in 1974.  Those days flights went Sydney-Bangkok-Athens-Rome, and then not long after Sydney-Melbourne-Bangkok-Athens-Rome.  Later on Perth was added in one day a week.  The flight numbers ended up on Frankfurt flights and later Singapore flights - but now back on Rome flights - just some history for anyone interested…

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 194

For the same price or less you can fly with Qatar in the Q suites and have free stopover in Doha-much better value and quality for money than Qantas for sure

15 Dec 2021

Total posts 6

Qatar Qsuites are so dirty sometimes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 75

Who who spend a travel cent or dollar either directly or indirectly in WA moving forward. Joyceys decisions make my decision even easier to Fly JAL to Europe six times per year. People join me, wonderful Airline. 

I for one will spend my many travel dollars in WA, or at least on the Qantas flight that goes via Perth, because even when starting from Sydney it's a great 'one stop' way to get to London and soon Rome, and hopefully other European cities too, at least in business class. JAL is a superb airline and Tokyo is a great stopover city. Qatar's Qsuites and going via Doha is also great. JAL and Qatar can also take you to other European destinations besides London and Rome. But this doesn't mean that Qantas is off the table for people, and I think you'll find these Boeing 787s will be as full as they were before COVID because for all sorts of reasons people are happy to fly this Perth-Europe route with Qantas.

Agreed. wonderful airline!

04 Nov 2020

Total posts 16

And then you also have Cathay, with more than 10 European destinations, once the network is back to full scale. Just a 1 stop in HKG. And even during the pandemic, is a transit HKG pretty trouble free.

I agree, Cathay Pacific shouldn't be overlooked for Europe or the USA for that matter, actually it's great for the USA because you don't have to change terminals at LAX, pick up and recheck your bags etc. I used to use CX a lot, especially because I could stop over at Hong Kong for some meetings and dinners etc, but even if you're just doing say Sydney-HKG-Paris for example, it's a great way to go.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 500

I would never consider flying from Australia 8-10 hours to Hong Kong, only to spend another 12 hours minimum to get to the USA when you can fly direct from Australia (Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane) in around 14 hours. The logical stopovers if you don't fly direct are New Zealand (flying Air New Zealand) or Suva/Nadi (flying Fijian), Vancouver (flying Air Canada) or Honolulu (flying Hawaiian). Anything else makes no sense, unless your company is paying and you happen to have meetings in both places (Asia and the USA).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Mar 2014

Total posts 22

Well ignoring the anti-WA politics here, I am very happy the flight runs through Perth. I get a one-stop flight from Hobart to Rome with no terminal change required. Much better than two-stops and a bus transfer in Sydney.

14 Apr 2021

Total posts 1

Iv  read 20 articles on this story and only 1 mentions it's a 16hr flight from Perth

So I'm thinking  5 hours melb perth min 2 hrs on the ground in perth

I think I will stick to sia or thai dunno if I can handle 16hrs straight in peasant class

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 206

Its 5 hours from BNE to PER, from MEL its often under 4.


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