Australian flag carrier Qantas has added a new international route in its operations. Qantas announced on December 15, 2021 that after 18 years, it is returning to Rome with direct seasonal flights from Perth starting in the middle of 2022.

From June 22, 2022 until October 2022, Qantas will operate three return Sydney-Perth-Rome flights per week to meet the demand over peak European holiday season. The airline claims that this will be the only direct service between Australia and continental Europe. 

Using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for this route, Qantas says that the new flight will cut more than three hours off the current fastest travel time to Rome. 

“Italy is the largest market for us in continental Europe for people visiting family and friends from Australia and we think customers will love flying direct to one of the world’s great cities to spend time with loved ones or enjoy Italy,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a press statement. 

“Many Western Australians have family links with Italy and it will now be easier to safely reunite after so long apart."

According to an Australian census dated 2016, migrants from Italy make up the fifth most populous representation in Western Australia. 

“After the restrictions of the past few years, it’s the ideal time to reinvigorate our international network and we’ll continue to look for new opportunities,” Joyce said. 

The new route is expected to entice more visitors to Western Australia and Qantas will partner with Tourism Western Australia to boost inbound tourism from Europe into Perth and regional WA, as well as promote Perth as an ideal stopover for Australians travelling to Europe from the east coast.

“Australia’s global reputation as a friendly, safe and unique destination is already an enormous tourism drawcard and adding Rome to the Qantas network means visitors will experience the Spirit of Australia before they even arrive,” Mr Joyce said.