Qantas will begin selling tickets on its non-stop Perth-London Boeing 787 service today, with the inaugural flight on March 24, 2018. We've shared the schedule below, more details in our story here:
As expected, the debut of the Dreamliner between Perth and London will see Qantas cancel its daily Airbus A380 flights from Melbourne to London via Dubai.
PREVIOUS | Qantas is expected to launch its non-stop flights between Perth and London this coming week and begin selling tickets for the first of the Boeing 787 flights, which are tipped to take wing in late March 2018.
Here are some blanks that'll be filled in once the flights go on sale.
Arrival and departure times: when will the daily Boeing 787 flight leave Perth, when will it arrive at London's Heathrow Airport, and vice versa?
Starting from Melbourne? It's also been tipped that the Boeing 787 service will begin from Melbourne around 7pm, allowing travellers from the Victorian capital to take their seat on the Dreamliner's Melbourne-Perth leg before continuing onto London (with a short break at the new Qantas Perth International Lounge).
Onwards to Los Angeles? Another one to watch: speculation that after the Dreamliner's London-Perth leg it'll continue to Melbourne and then onwards to Los Angeles as QF95 (which will be the Boeing 787's first international service, starting December 15 this year). This would entice Perth residents with a one-stop Dreamliner route to LA as well as help fill the plane's seats on the eastbound cross-country trek.
A Dream(liner) run for lounge lizards: If the Boeing 787 starts it journey out of Melbourne's international terminal, this could allow Platinum-grade frequent flyers to book the Melbourne-Perth leg as a domestic flight – and enjoy the food, drink and spa of the Qantas first class lounge by booking even the cheapest economy ticket to Perth.
What happens to Melbourne-Dubai-London? Will Qantas keep its current Airbus A380 service from Melbourne to London via Dubai, in effect delivering three daily Australia-London flights out of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth?
Or will the airline go through with a reported plan to terminate the A380 route at Dubai and have passengers transfer to partner Emirates for connecting flights, or hand the entire Melbourne-Dubai-London route over to Emirates?
How long will the non-stop flight take? Qantas estimates the flight will be around 17½ hours, but we'll soon know exactly how long travellers will spend in their comfy business class suites, 'revolutionary' premium economy recliners or extra-legroom economy seats.
Either way, the Perth-London flight will easily be the world's longest Boeing 787 route and come close to being the world's longest non-stop passenger flight (right now Qatar Airways claims that crown with its Doha-Auckland service).
How many passengers will take this new twist on the Kangaroo Route? The advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with its superior seats and ability to reduce the impact of jetlag, will be another drawcard for the non-stop Perth-London flights.
But how many travellers from cities other than Perth will book this Dreamliner run, compared to the more established Airbus A380 routes from Sydney and Melbourne, which offer a first class cabin (always welcome for using frequent flyer points to upgrade from business class) and a stopover at Dubai before the final leg to London?