As well as an important destination for business travellers, visiting the UK has been considered almost a “rite of passage” for generations of Australians. In the past, the multiple stop-overs, time zone changes and flight connections meant that passengers often found themselves exhausted at the end of their journey. But that has now changed. With Qantas investing in a new non-stop Perth-London route – as well as world-class passenger facilities – getting there can truly be half the fun.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the history-making route would be a watershed for travel, tourism and trade.
“When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops. Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop”.
“This is a game-changing route flown by a game-changing aircraft. Australians have never had a direct link to Europe before, so the opportunities this opens up are huge”.
At 14,498 kilometres, this direct flight service is one of the longest commercial routes in the world, taking advantage of the efficiency and comfort of the new 787-9 Dreamliner. The aircraft has improved air quality, lower cabin noise and technology to reduce turbulence, resulting in a smoother, more enjoyable flight for passengers of all classes.
To complement the new levels of comfort available on a commercial route is the facilities available at each end of the flight, including the new fitout of the Qantas lounge at Perth Airport. The new flight will operate through Qantas’ existing domestic terminals (T3/4), which have been upgraded to accommodate international flights. The airline’s current international services from Perth (to Singapore and to Auckland) will also move to this terminal, helping to simplify the journey for thousands of people every year.
Game-Changing Facilities for Perth Airport
Qantas, Perth Airport, and the Western Australian Government have made a significant investment, upgrading the facilities to support the comfort and enjoyment of all travellers on their airline. To achieve this, Qantas enlisted the expertise of Norman Disney & Young, A Tetra Tech Company (NDY), to ensure the fitout of the Perth Qantas Lounge, and the Terminal 3 extension were technically best in class and customer focused.
NDY Project Leader for this project, Renee Fourie says NDY was brought onboard to provide engineering solutions for the refurbishment of the Perth Domestic Terminal 3, “because of the first-class pedigree of transport facilities projects. This included the fitout of the new Qantas transit lounge, which features the first outdoor patio at an airport in Australia, with a barbecue grill and a Neil Perry-designed barbecue menu.”
The Transit Lounge also includes:
Providing all these services to the appropriate standard was a considerable task, made particularly challenging by the unmoveable date for the new Perth-London route.
“With a collaborative approach across all stakeholders, we were able to achieve this. The NDY team – along with our project partners – all worked cohesively to achieve this outcome.”
Beyond the lounge, the expansion of the southern end of Terminal 3 was a significant addition to the capabilities of Perth Airport. “The terminal is required to handle incoming and departing wide bodied aircraft for long haul international flights and domestic transfers/stopovers within Australia,” says Renee.
“This involves providing flexible space and adding ‘swing gates’ for both domestic and international/transferring passengers and controlled passenger flows. Complying with the security requirements of the Department of Immigration was a challenge, but they were very happy to work with us to ensure that all their concerns were addressed.”
Maintaining regular operations in the airport while construction was underway, without compromising security, safety, or the enjoyment of passengers in transit, was another challenge.
As a long-term member of the Perth team, Renee has taken particular joy in seeing the project come together. “Being a part of a history-making project with non-stop flights from Australia to London has been very rewarding,” she beams. “To see Perth becoming a major aviation hub, and to have been a part of it, has been very exciting.
Alan Joyce echoes these sentiments: “It’s great news for travellers because it will make it easier to get to London. It’s great news for Western Australia because it will bring jobs and tourism. And it’s great news for the nation, because it will bring us closer to one of our biggest trade partners and sources of visitors.”