The first non-stop flight from Australia to the UK has taken off — and you can track it here
The first ever non-stop flight from Australia to the UK has taken off.
The QF9 flight carrying 200 passengers took off from Perth at 7 p.m. local time on Saturday (11 a.m. GMT).
It's due to land in London at 5 a.m. GMT on Sunday.
Qantas Airways is set to make history with the first ever non-stop flight from Australia to the UK.
The QF9 flight carrying 200 passengers took off from Perth at 7 p.m. local time on Saturday (11 a.m. GMT) and is due to land in London at 5 a.m. GMT on Sunday.
The airline is using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for the 17 hour flight which will cover 9,009-mile over the course of the journey.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, one of the passengers on the inaugural flight, described it as a major milestone for Australia as well as global aviation.
"This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link," he said.
The route between Australia and London was originally dubbed the "kangaroo route" for the seven stops it made over four days in 1947.
"Now we can do it in a single leap," Mr Joyce said.
The new link with Perth will be around three hours quicker than routes which involve stopping in the Middle East to change planes or refuel.
It will also enable faster journeys to Sydney and Melbourne than flying via Dubai.
Travel firm Flight Centre has recorded "high demand" for the new Qantas flights.
Its head of aviation, Justin Penny, said: "Flight Centre definitely feels that long-term the new route is viable and we will see additional services being launched from Europe to Australia in the coming years."
Aviation consultant John Strickland said the launch of the flights is a significant moment for the airline industry.
He said: "It will be a further test of how successful airlines can be with ultra-long-haul flying and whether this delivers sufficient profitability to justify the investment in aircraft.
"Qantas will certainly be hoping to attract a higher proportion of premium customers due to the speed advantage combined with the 787's better cabin atmosphere."
The Dreamliners on the Perth-Heathrow route will have 42 business class flat-bed seats, 28 premium economy seats and 166 economy seats.
The aircraft boasts a number of advantages over other models, including lower cabin noise, larger windows, improved air quality and technology to reduce turbulence.
They are also heralded for their fuel efficiency, although the impact of this will be reduced by the weight of the fuel needed to fly between the UK and Australia without stopping.
The world's longest regular passenger flight is operated by Qatar Airways between Doha and Auckland, at 9,025 miles.