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 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.”
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.