Qantas keen on Paris, but first profit on Perth

The coffee bar at the Qantas lounge

The coffee bar at the Qantas

Qantas flight QF9, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with more than 230 passengers and crew on board, touched down at 5.03am at Heathrow on a chilly Sunday morning to a welcome from ground staff.

American Express Global Business Travel said bookings on all types of flights from Singapore to San Francisco rose 12 percent past year, with Singapore Airlines and United now offering non-stop service on the route in competition with one-stop rivals like Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd and Taiwan's EVA Airways Corp.

Flying from Australia to London in 1935 took 12 1/2 days.

Leaving Sydney, it stopped in Darwin in northern Australia, Singapore, Calcutta in India, Karachi in Pakistan, Cairo in Egypt, Tripoli in Libya and, finally, London.

Previous flights to and from Australia had a stopover in either Singapore or the Middle East, but removing the stopover has taken three hours off the flight time.

The route is the world's second-longest after Qatar Airways' service from Doha to Auckland.

But in April 2013, the airline announced a new partnership with United Arab Emirates-based Emirates, a change which included the carrier shifting their connecting point to the carrier's superhub in Dubai.

The airline unveiled plans for the world's longest non-stop commercial flight, for the "last frontier of global aviation", back in August past year.

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Australia hopes the direct routes will boost tourism.

Long-distance travellers were treated to new features meant to reduce the problems associated with such a long flight.

Qantas said its Perth to London service is the third longest commercial flight in the world.

Qantas will use Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for the non-stop route, with 42 business class flat-bed seats, 28 premium economy seats and 166 economy seats.

He added: "We believe that advances on the next few years will close the gap".

Ground staff greet QF9 at Heathrow airport, London, after its history-making 17-hour flight from Perth.

Qantas has adjusted the timing of some domestic services into Perth so that passengers from Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane can join the flight to London.

She said: 'To have the opportunity to get on a plane at Heathrow and step out in Perth is just phenomenally exciting and I'm sure we are going to see lots and lots of people taking advantage of that'.

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