By Victor Shalton
Qantas Revives Route Network from Western Australia
Qantas — Australia’s national carrier — will begin flying between Perth, Australia and Johannesburg on Nov. 1 — fulfilling its long-harbored ambition to take on the 11-hour trek.
The flights will run three days a week on an Airbus A330 with 27 business suites and 224 economy seats, with the following schedule:
- QF65 departs Perth at 3 p.m., to reach Johannesburg at 8:15 p.m. the same day.
- Return flight QF66 from Johannesburg leaves at 10:00 p.m., arriving in Perth at 1:15 p.m. the following day.
The route was previously exclusive to South African Airways, although the beleaguered carrier stopped flying to Perth in early 2020, as the pandemic began.
Qantas cites the large South African community in Perth, as fueling demand for people visiting family and friends as well as business and leisure travelers. In addition, with its flights from Perth to London and Rome, Qantas also expects travelers from many other Australian cities to travel to Perth for their trip.
The airline’s existing Sydney-Johannesburg Boeing 787 Dreamliner service will not only remain but will also see a boost from four flights per week to daily as of Oct. 30.
It’s expected that Perth flights will depart from the same international wing of its Perth T3 terminal as used by non-stop services to London and Rome.
Qantas initially hoped to challenge South African Airways on the Perth, Australia-Johannesburg route in late 2018, with four direct Airbus A330 flights a week, running on a seasonal basis from November-March.
Meanwhile, the Flying Kangaroo also re-introduced flights from Perth to Jakarta, Indonesia for the first time, since borders closed in March 2020. From Nov. 30, the airline will begin with three flights per week on its Boeing 737 aircraft.
It is the first time that Qantas has operated the route, which will support the growing trade and tourism links between Australia and Indonesia.
The route is also expected to be popular with travelers connecting to other major, leisure cities such as Surabaya, Indonesia and Medan, Indonesia.
“Western Australia has become an increasingly important part of our international network and we’re excited to be launching two more routes from Perth,” Joyce said. “International travel demand continues to rebound as people make up for two years of closed borders. Our direct flights from Perth to London and Rome are solely strength, which gives us the confidence to add new routes from our western hub.
Speaking in Perth with Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the new routes marked a major expansion of the airline’s international network from Perth.
“Indonesia is a rapidly growing economy that’s home to more than 270 million people and these new flights will open up more trade and investment opportunities and a new gateway for travelers looking to explore Indonesia,” Joyce added. “There’s a big South African population that lives in Western Australia, and this will be great for people traveling in both directions to see family and friends. It will also help support the economic ties between Australia and South Africa.”
The addition of Johannesburg and Jakarta will mean Qantas will operate international flights from Perth to five destinations including London, Rome and Singapore.