Just in time for the Summer Olympics in the City of Light, Australian carrier Qantas will launch a new ultra-long haul direct flight from Perth (PER) to Paris (CDG) on July 12 next year, with tickets already on sale.
The year-round flights will run four times per week during the peak European travel season before moving to three times weekly in mid-August.
“Some of the first customers on these flights will be Australian athletes heading to Paris to compete at the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson said.
The route will mark the first time Qantas has flown to Paris in nearly two decades.
One of the longest flights in the world, the Perth-Paris connection will cover 8,863 miles, with outbound trips taking 17 hours and 20 minutes and inbound journeys lasting 16 hours and 35 minutes.
Flights will be operated with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, configured to host 236 seats: 42 in business class, 28 in premium economy, and 166 in the economy cabin.
The in-flight service will be “designed with long-haul travel in mind,” Hudson said.
The carrier is launching the route behind the roaring success of its other globe-straddling non-stop links between Western Australia and Europe. The airline began flying from Perth to London Heathrow (LHR) in 2018, and last summer added a seasonal flight to Rome (FCO) to its network.
“Our direct flights to London and Rome have been hugely popular and Paris is the next most-requested destination, so we know the demand for this service will be strong as well,” Hudson said.
The new route will make available more than 75,000 additional seats between Australia and Europe each year.
While competitors make at least one stop between the Antipodes and Europe, Qantas flies direct. That’s “because the key market we serve is Australia,” Hudson said. Skipping the stopover slashes three hours from the current fastest travel times from Perth to Paris.
From Paris, travelers can connect to more than 70 destinations throughout Europe, including Barcelona, Munich, Frankfurt, Athens, and 12 cities in France, through Qantas’ partners.
With “circle fares,” Qantas customers can also fly into Paris and return via London or Rome on a single ticket.
Qantas is also eager to bring European tourists to Australia. “We’ll be working with Tourism WA [Western Australia] to help make the most of the opportunity to bring tourists here, knowing that direct flights are a big factor in people deciding where to travel,” Hudson said.
WA Premier Roger Cook said the new link to Paris solidifies Perth’s reputation as the “Western Gateway to Australia.”
“Securing new direct aviation services like this is absolutely vital to drive travelers to Western Australia, inject visitor spend into our economy, and create jobs in the tourism and hospitality industries,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Qantas Group says its international capacity will reach over 90% of pre-COVID levels by the end of the year, boosted by the delivery of new aircraft and pent-up travel demand. By the middle of next year, with the Perth-Paris link operating, the carrier hopes to operate at 100% of its 2019 capacity.
Tickets between Perth and Paris start at A$1,899 ($1204.50) roundtrip. Flights will operate out of Qantas’ existing terminal at Perth Airport, enabling quick connections to other destinations in Australia and easily shuttling Aussies to the tarmac for their flights to Paris.