First Direct Flight From Australia To UK Flew Through Cyclone Winds

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Many Brits dream of jetting off for an Australian adventure, but are put off by the complicated, indirect journey.

Those from the UK looking for some Aussie sunshine have previously had to make a minimum two-hour stopover in the Middle East or Asia, in destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong or Singapore.

This means the journey is pretty epic, clocking up to around 20 to 21 hours overall. This is obviously a dizzying – and somewhat off-putting – amount of time.

However, an incredible new feat of air travel may mean your summer plans of cuddling koalas could get a whole lot simpler.

The Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has just touched down in London Heathrow, after a flight from Perth unlike any other before it.

The Dreamliner, known as ‘Emily’, has just completed the very first direct flight from Australia to the UK, trimming the flight time down to 17 hours.

Okay, this is still a sizeable journey but think about all the faff and airport queues you will dodge.

To make matters even more incredible, Emily experienced some seriously shaky weather during voyage; battling the effects of Cyclone Marcus which has stirred up strong winds in Perth.

Emily was manned by a crew of sixteen, including Captain Lisa Norman, Captain Jeff Foote, First Officer Dave Summergreene and Second Officer Troy Lane.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce has made a statement on the significance of this flight on the Qantas website:

This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link,

The original Kangaroo Route from Australia to London was named for the seven stops it made over four days back in 1947. Now we can do it in a single leap.

The response to the flight has been amazing, both for the attention it’s received since we announced it and the bookings we’ve seen coming in.

It’s great for Australian tourism, for business travellers and for people visiting friends and family on both sides of the world.

Joyce also spoke about the enhanced comfort enjoyed by the 200 plus passengers aboard this very special plane:

This is hands-down the most comfortable aircraft that Qantas has ever put in the sky.

Boeing designed the Dreamliner with features to reduce jetlag, turbulence and noise. We’ve taken that a step further with our cabin design, giving passengers more space in every class as well as bigger entertainment screens and more personal storage.

We’ve worked with the University of Sydney and our consulting chef Neil Perry to create a menu that helps the body cope better with jetlag and adjusted the timing of when we serve food to encourage sleep.

Seriously, throw in a gin and tonic and a few glossy mags to thumb through and this sounds like an actual dream…

Many of the lucky passengers aboard this historic flight took to Twitter to express their excitement.

Comedian Adam Hills tweeted:

So excited to be on the first ever non-stop @Qantas flight from London to Australia.

Sunrise Perth correspondent Matt Tinney declared:

History made. We’ve arrived on the first nonstop flight from Australia to the UK. 17 hours flew by!

A simple comfortable flight with the promise of baby kangaroos at the end of it? I think it’s time I rooted out my passport…


Julia Banim

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications. When not Lad-ing about, she enjoys cooking, reading and trying not to fall over in Yoga.