Qantas QF9 and QF10: Big changes for world’s longest flight
Extended flight times and new aircraft being deployed.
Qantas' direct Perth-London service is going through some major adjustments, with an increase in flight time and a switch in aircraft.
That's a remarkable development, given that the Perth-London run already clocks as Qantas' longest-running flight at 17 hours and 20 minutes.
However, tensions in the Middle East mean Qantas is now rerouting QF9 (the Perth-London flight) and QF10 (the return London-Perth leg) to avoid flying over Iran and Iraq.
Qantas says that the diversion will add between 40 or 50 minutes to the flight time, meaning it will run for more than 18 hours between Perth and London. The number of passengers on QF9 is thus being reduced, to ensure there's sufficient fuel on board. That could be actually good news for travellers, since there are likely to be more vacant seats on board.
On the return QF10 leg, the passenger numbers are staying the same, since tailwinds mean the flight consumes less fuel anyway.
The change doesn't affect Qantas' QF1 and QF2 services from Sydney via Singapore, since those don't fly over the area.
Qantas is also making one tiny tweak to the aircraft used for the service. As we've discussed before, passengers from Melbourne to London are often routed via Perth. That means taking the Boeing Dreamliner 787 all the way from Australia to the UK.
That's now changing, but only on Tuesdays. Passengers booked from Melbourne on Tuesday services will now fly the first leg on an A330, a development first reported by Australian Frequent Flyer.
From Perth to London, the service will continue to use the Dreamliner. Qantas is making the switch so it has the right mix of aircraft to launch its Brisbane-Chicago service.
The main passengers impacted will be those travelling in Premium Economy, since that doesn't feature on the Qantas A330 model being deployed. AFF reports that passengers in Premium Economy will be upgraded into Business when possible for the Melbourne-Perth leg.
As a frequent flyer tragic, I know I'll have to try out the Perth-London service eventually. I just may need to adjust my policy of never using the toilet on planes first.
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on Finder.