WHEN migration from Europe to Australia first got going in the 19th century, it would take several months to get there by ship. Even by the end of the second world war, the trip would still take over 30 days. But in 1947 Qantas, Australia’s flag carrier, cut the time it took to fly between the two to a matter of days when it opened a new air service between London and Sydney called the “Kangaroo Route”. Even so, the trip was slow and expensive compared to today’s flights. The original “Kangaroo route” took four days and nine stops, and cost at least £525 per passenger—equal to two and a half years’ wages for an average worker. Now the same trip, via Dubai or another Asian hub, takes less than 24 hours and costs less than a week’s pay.
Qantas hopes that a new non-stop service between Britain and Australia will again revolutionise the economics of flying between the two countries. On the morning of March 25th, the first scheduled nonstop flight from Perth to London landed at…Continue reading