Boosting tourism, breaking speed records and supporting more than $100 million in visitor spending in WA are some of the results from 12 months of the history-making Perth to London flight.
Visiting Western Australia to mark the first anniversary of the service - which remains the only direct connection between Australia and Europe - Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce released a report card showing what Perth-London has achieved so far.
Key among the data was an independent analysis by Deloitte Access Economics, which found the non-stop 787 Dreamliner service had in its first year:
Facilitated a $101 million increase in spending by visitors (92% of which is from international stopover passengers), with $2.3 million spent at Perth Airport alone by people passing through.
Directly and indirectly supported creation of 601 full time equivalent jobs, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sector.
With 71 per cent of international visitors on the route choosing to stopover in Perth, helped to drive more than 1 million visitor nights spent in WA.
Generated over $100 million in free publicity (opens in new window) due to global interest in the service, including significant exposure for WA as a destination.
Just under 60 per cent of passengers on the London-Perth leg are from Australia while UK residents make up the majority of overseas passengers at 31 per cent. Qantas has seen a 30 per cent increase in the total number of passengers travelling between Australia and London via Perth - including a 7 per cent increase in visitors from the UK travelling to Perth.
The new service is also attracting people from other parts of Australia to Perth to join the service, with average outbound passengers made up of 25 per cent from Melbourne, 7 per cent from Sydney, 6 per cent from Brisbane and 4 per cent from Adelaide.
Mr Joyce said: “There were a lot of expectations around this flight, both within Qantas and the broader community, and frankly it’s exceeded them.
“A year of operating this route shows that a hub in WA connecting Australia to the world works really well. We have people coming from the east coast to join the flight and it’s made it a lot easier for people in Europe to visit Australia.
“Almost every flight is full and it turned a profit almost immediately, which is rare for new services because they have start up costs and it normally takes time to build demand.
“The work we put into managing passenger jetlag and designing a comfortable cabin has paid off. It’s the longest flight on our entire network but it has the highest level of customer satisfaction.”
Mr Joyce said there had been several pleasant surprises over the 12 months, which would be used to inform the planning for other ultra-long haul flights.
“The yoga studio in our new Perth lounge has been used by more than 80 per cent of passengers, which is a lot more than we expected.
“We didn’t plan to regularly break speed records in both directions. The current title holder arrived into Perth from London a full hour ahead schedule thanks to prevailing winds and our new flight planning system.
“Despite all the complicated logistics and technical challenges, there have been only been four cancelled flights out of 720 planned services for a reliability rating of 99.5 per cent. That’s a credit to the literally hundreds of Qantas people behind the scenes involved in making everything work smoothly.
“The support from Western Australia has been amazing. It’s come from all quarters, from the State Government right through to individuals using the service. We’re really pleased to be returning the favour in the form of more tourism dollars, more exposure for WA as a great place to visit, and the opportunity to turn Perth into a hub between Australia and more parts of Europe.
“How much we grow the opportunity from here depends on all stakeholders working together,” added Mr Joyce.
The Year One Report Card on Perth-London is available here and the full Deloitte Access Economics report on the economic impact of the new services can be accessed here (both via the Qantas Newsroom).
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