Mar 23, 2018

Speech Qantas Perth – London inaugural flight – ‘QF9: A game-changer for the nation’ – Perth

History is made in fascinating ways, but aviation has always charted its own path.

Pushing boundaries…

Unlocking new possibilities…

Shrinking the globe…

In 1947 it took four days to fly from Australia to London – a trip known as the Kangaroo Route because of its many stops.

QF9, tomorrow’s inaugural flight from Perth to London, has reduced this to 17 hours with zero stops.

The first direct flight connecting Australia to Europe.

It’s an historic moment for aviation and it’s a game-changer for Western Australia.

Congratulations Qantas on this momentous event.

And congratulations WA on securing this flight.

WA already has a great relationship with the UK.

Indeed, more international tourists visit WA from the UK than anywhere else, making up about 15 percent of the source market.

But non-stop flights will transform the dynamics of Australian tourism.

And now, WA will benefit from the increased numbers coming to this destination, which is fantastic in its own right.

It will also benefit from those Australians who choose to stop here for a few days on their way to Europe and inbound travellers who do the same, even though their final destination is on the East Coast.

A huge boon for hotel owners and tourism operators.

It also opens up new opportunities for regional Western Australia, home to many superb tourism attractions…

For instance, Broome with its white stretches of coastal and the spectacular wilderness of the Kimberley…

The Pilbara region and its red dirt landscape…

The silent majesty of Ningaloo Reef’s whale sharks…

And no visit to WA would be complete without stopping by the Margaret River, home to some of the world’s best wine and craft beer.

It strikes me just how far aviation has come, even in recent years.

Flying has not always been this easy, or affordable.

Indeed, the first time I flew on a plane, I was 21 and heading to Canberra for a Parliamentary sitting week. I’d just started working for Tom Uren.

Flying has opened up our eyes and our imagination.

Today, because of aviation, more people than ever before can access new experiences.

Whether it’s exploring the vast expanse of Australia, or visiting towns and cities overseas, flying makes this achievable.

So I’m looking forward to this inaugural flight, which marks a milestone.

And I have to say I’m also looking forward to the Qantas safety video – the best of its kind in the world.

The video on domestic flights, of course, combines a critical safety message with a stellar showcase of tourism destinations from around the nation.

And I understand the 2018 video on the new 787 Dreamliner shows the diversity of Aussies living abroad.

Qantas has always sought to convey the Australian spirit to its travellers. It’s done this well.

It is also an honour to join you in London as we promote Australia as a tourism destination to the world.

There truly is no place like home.