Today is a historic one as Qantas flight QF9 departs from Perth for London Heathrow airport at 18:50. This is the first regularly scheduled non-stop flight from Australia to Europe, which is a pretty big deal for Australians.
The flight will be operated by VH-ZND, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner painted in a special Aboriginal livery. The scheme is adapted from a painting by Emily Kame Kngwarreye (pronounced Emily Karma Nung-war-ray) for whom the aircraft is also named.
The flight plan for QF9 today indicates it will fly for 8,032 nautical miles which is scheduled to take 17 hours and 7 minutes. Below is the planned route which shows that it is quite a journey across the world. Dan23 on airliners.net notes that he was told take off weight is 251.6 tonnes, with 92.2 tonnes of fuel expected to be consumed. Hardcore!
Qantas have been running computerised dummy flights using real world weather conditions for quite some time. This is to ensure the best route when taking into account winds aloft to get the best performance out of the aircraft.
At Perth Airport
A new international section is located at the Qantas Domestic Terminal to handle QF9. It includes a special transit lounge which will be used by passengers on this service only.
Featuring 15 shower suites as well as an open outdoor patio area, this is going to be popular before or after the flight. Considering Perth usually always has sunny weather a nice sit down in the sun after 17 hours on board will be delicious.
At London Heathrow
With an arrival time of 05:05 at London Heathrow, QF9 will be one of the first aircraft to land each day. Arriving this early means the airport is not busy and UK immigration should therefore be quite quick. That is something passengers will appreciate after 17 hours in the air!
The return flight is QF10 which departs Heathrow at 13:15 and arrives in Perth at 13:00 the following day. The brand new Qantas London Lounge in Terminal 3 is used by all Qantas passengers at LHR now and it is well worth a visit.
It is very exciting to see this flight going ahead. According to all reports, forward bookings are strong so this should become a popular new way to London for Australian people.
Are you planning to take this flight or have you been on it? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.