First non-stop Australia - UK flight arrives in London

Airline launches first NON-STOP flight from London to Perth – it takes 17 hours

It becomes the first regularly scheduled nonstop commercial airline service connecting Australia and Europe.

The firm hopes to routinely fly non-stop from Australia to London and NY by 2022, which would take 20 hours.

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.

It's around three hours quicker than routes which involve stopping in the Middle East to change planes or refuel.

It is the world's second-longest flight, after a Qatar Airways service between Doha and Auckland, which covers 9,028 miles. Using Airbus A340 airliners, the route from Singapore to New York's Newark airport was operational from 2004 to 2013.

After a very long flight it had touched down at Heathrow.

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It is hoped that these kinds of services will encourage more people to travel to the likes of Sydney and Melbourne, with the Western Australian government keen to attract more tourists to the region. The inaugural flight, from Perth, set off at 7pm on Saturday evening to land in London at 5am on Sunday, 17 hours later (keeping in mind a seven hour time difference).

The inaugural flight carried more than 200 passengers and 16 crew members, and took around 17 hours and 20 minutes to complete.

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The group's chief executive Alan Joyce said it was "a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel".

Passengers on this route have the chance to experience Qantas' new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, delivered to the airline recently.

The aircraft is programmed with jetlag-reducing features to make the long-haul route more bearable.

Tourism WA chairman Nathan Harding said the organisation would work with Qantas to develop at least one more direct route, likely Frankfurt or Paris, within the next few years.

"We wanted to keep resting - and we could, ' she said".

The average business-class ticket from Hong Kong to NY on non-stop flights with Cathay and United costs $8,600, compared with $7,200 on one-stop options, according to Carlson Wagonlit data, with Qantas achieving a $1,600 premium to rivals on Perth-London flights.

Those arriving in London in the early hours following their historic flight shared images of the welcome they received at Heathrow Airport.

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