Australian flag carrier Qantas’ inaugural flight from Perth Airport (PER) to Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) in Rome took off on June 25, 2022, arriving on June 26, 2022 at 08:45 local time. 

The seasonal flight, which was first announced in December 2022, is the first non-stop route from Australia to continental Europe. Passengers from Sydney, Australia’s largest populated city, can board QF5 to Perth for a four-hour layover before flying on to Rome. 

To mark the flight, passengers were treated to an accordion player and gelato cart at PER’s Terminal 4. 

One of the passengers on board QF5’s maiden flight was Mark McGowan, premier of Western Australia.

McGowan said in a Facebook post that he will be in Europe to promote Western Australia as “Continental Europe’s gateway to Australia and a world-class destination to work, study and visit”.

“As part of Reconnect WA, I'll be hosting a series of roundtables in Italy and in the United Kingdom, meeting with key partners and businesses in Ireland and Qatar, and showcasing why there is no better place to visit, study, invest and work with than WA,” McGowan said.

McGowan also confirmed that Qantas’ PER-FCO flights will operate once more from June to October 2023. 

Johannesburg and Jakarta

Qantas also announced that it will launch two new international routes from Perth to Johannesburg, South Africa, and Perth to Jakarta from November 2022.

From November 1, 2022, Qantas will operate the only direct service from Perth to South Africa, operating three return flights per week on its Airbus A330 aircraft.

Qantas’ current route from Sydney to Johannesburg operates four flights per week on its Boeing 787 aircraft. The airline said that the route has seen strong bookings since it recommenced in January this year, and will increase to a daily service from October 30, 2022. 

South Africans represent the seventh largest migrant community in Australia, with more than 40,000 living in Western Australia.

From November 30, 2022, Qantas will reconnect Perth with Jakarta for the first time since borders closed in March 2020, beginning with three flights per week on its Boeing 737 aircraft.

It is the first time that Qantas has operated the route, which is expected to support growing trade and tourism links between Australia and Indonesia. It is also predicted that the route will be popular with travelers connecting to Indonesia’s other cities such as Surabaya and Medan.

“Western Australia has become an increasingly important part of our international network and we’re really excited to be launching two more routes from Perth,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.

Joyce added: “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.”

“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,” Joyce concluded.

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The flying kangaroo prepares to say ‘Buongiorno!’ as Qantas to start direct flights from Australia to Rome.