The early success of Qantas’ new Perth-London Heathrow nonstop service is encouraging the Australian airline to consider other cities for ultra-long haul flights.

Speaking on the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Sydney June 3, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said: “The Perth-London route is exceeding our expectations. We are seeing really good seat factors, particularly in the premium cabins.”

The London service was launched at the end of March and operates with Boeing 787-9s.

Results so far are giving Qantas confidence to look at other European cities, such as Frankfurt and Paris, as potential non-stops.

“The economics are working; the London-Perth route made money from day one. I haven't seen an international route make money from day one in my entire career in the aviation business,” Joyce said.

“We have Paris and Frankfurt on the list of our studies. There are big opportunities for ultra-long haul routes. The US is another possibility,”

Qantas has taken delivery of four 787-9s and has another four scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2018, with more deliveries continuing through late 2020.

In May, the oneworld carrier converted six -9 options to firm orders, so that can retire its Boeing 747-400 fleet earlier than originally planned.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at