First regular non-stop flight between Australia and UK touches down at Heathrow

The flight touches down in Heathrow in the early hours of Sunday morning. Credit: Qantas

The maiden flight of a new non-stop regular service between the UK and Australia has landed at Heathrow.

The direct Perth to London flight touched down in the early hours of Sunday morning, just over 17 hours after it took off from the Western Australian city.

Some 200 passengers and 16 crew members made the 9,226 mile (14,848km) journey onboard the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The return flight departed Heathrow at 1.15pm.

The new route is 24% further than the UK's existing longest service between Heathrow and Jakarta (7,275 miles or 11,708km).

The new link with Perth is around three hours quicker than routes which involve stopping in the Middle East to change planes or refuel.

It also enables faster journeys to Sydney and Melbourne than flying via Dubai.

Western Australia's premier, Mark McGowan, was onboard the flight and tweeted a picture of the Australian delegation of politicians and officials, the flight's pilots and a didgeridoo player in Aboriginal dress and body paint at Heathrow.

Four pilots are onboard the QF9, with one or two resting at one time.

The direct flight is a long way from the so-called "Kangaroo Route" between Australia and London, which took seven stops and four days, when it launched in 1947.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce praised "truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link...

“It’s great for Australian tourism, for business travellers and for people visiting friends and family on both sides of the world.”