Much has been written about Project Sunrise, Qantas’ plans to link Sydney to London and New York nonstop. In the meantime, though, it’s Perth, in Western Australia, that acts as the main gateway for direct flights between Europe and Australia.
At present, Qantas operates Perth to London flights, but some other European destinations are set to follow suit.
The next one up, which is already confirmed, is Rome-Fiumicino (FCO). It will return as a seasonal service this year, after a successful operation last summer. This flight is operated with Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
In a new development, on February 3, 2023, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce explained in an interview with local radio station 6PR Perth that the Australian airline is now in discussions with Air France, with the intention of launching additional services between Perth and Paris (CDG).
The airline boss also stated that, though Qantas has suspended the flights linking Perth to Johannesburg and Jakarta, the airline plans to make the Western Australian city its second largest hub. This would involve adding international links, including services to destinations in Europe and Asia, if capacity allocation issues at the airport can be resolved.
To this end, Mr. Joyce highlighted that Qantas is expecting to acquire one new aircraft per month during the coming year. He added that, though Perth remains the preferred gateway for international expansion, the airline may well consider other options that could be explored, expressly mentioning Brisbane as another potential vector of growth.