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Qantas to launch direct flights from Rome to Perth

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If you’d asked me where Qantas would base its second direct non-stop flight to Australia, following the launch of London Heathrow to Perth, I would not have picked Rome.

Rome it is, however.

From 22nd June to 6th October, Qantas will fly three times per week from Rome to Perth. The aircraft will continue to Sydney.

The flights use a Boeing 787-9. The aircraft has to stop in Perth because it is not possible for a fully laden Boeing 787-9, or indeed any other standard commercial aircraft, to make the trip directly to Sydney without refuelling.

Qantas has been running a process called ‘Project Sunrise’ for a number of years. It is working with Boeing and Airbus on plans to modify – cheaply – an existing long haul aircraft to make the trip from New York or London to Sydney or Melbourne. Covid has stalled progress but the airline stated last month that it hopes to revive the plans for a 2024/25 launch.

As Qantas is a British Airways partner in the oneworld alliance, you can theoretically redeem Avios for seats on the new non-stop Rome to Perth service. Seats on London to Perth were exceptionally difficult to find, but Qantas may find it harder to sell seats from Rome. That said, demand from its own frequent flyers for reward space will be huge.

Qantas is believed to be planning a partnership with Italy’s new state-owned airline ITA Airways to provide feed from across Italy and much of Europe.

PS. Whilst I mention Perth above, the Heathrow service is currently flying to Darwin due to travel restrictions in Western Australia. These are expected to be eased from April.

PPS. Our guide on how to earn Qantas Points from UK credit cards is here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (26)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • marcw says:

    Qantas is only working with Airbus for project Sunrise – they made that decision two years ago!

    • Alex Sm says:

      And they are using Boeing’s Dreamliners now – where is the logic?

      • Max says:

        They are using Dreamliners from Perth to Europe because they are lacking range.

        Project Sunrise is about nonstop flights from Sydney and Melbourne without the stop in Perth. They require Ultra Long Range planes such as the Airbus A350.

    • Charles Martel says:

      They’re also ditching Boeing for the domestic fleet, new orders have been signed for the Airbus A321XLR and A220s which will replace the 737s.

  • d3vski says:

    I guess you could do a LHR-FCO-PER flight as one award but the Avios required will be huge as it’s 2 different carriers.

    • Tony says:

      Aren’t there some sweet spot redemptions though when you do a multi carrier redemption as they didn’t increase the points required. So it’s only 1.5x for club? Think you need two non ba sectors though so with Cx out of bounds, maybe go IB via MAD to get to Rome?

  • Vit says:

    Rob, I have not done any researches about midpoint. Looking at transferwise currently for amount more than 50k internationally. Anyone using transferwise before? or can recommend any other platforms?


    • ChrisBCN says:

      I move EUR>GBP and back frequently; nothing ever beats TransferWise (now wise) since Brexit killed the revolut route. I know of nothing better. I would compare the rates of wise vs the midpoint offer on Monday and see which is best.

    • MikeL says:

      I was very impressed with Transferwise when I sold a timeshare to someone in California. I had looked at various options and I decided on TW. Seamless and quick transfer. Didn’t cost me much either.

    • JFSV says:

      Transferwise (now Wise, as set out above) is excellent indeed. Great app too

    • Bagoly says:

      I have found both Transferwise and CurrencyFair reliable.
      In particular if there are any problems you can contact a human.

      Revolut has better offering for businesses, but have a chatbot which is hard to get past, and have veered from overly lax to trigger-happy on AML – hence many stories of blocked accounts which are then a nightmare to unblock. They started cheaper but have since increased charges/reduced free amounts.

      • Lady London says:

        Revolut is a nightmare. All goes well with them until they block you or your transaction for some reason important only to them. Then they fail to communicate and are often impossible to contact.

        Too much risk in Revolut according to reports over a few years now.

    • Lady London says:

      I’ve talked to Midpoint and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them.

      Their “thing” is transparency. You get exactly the FX rate they say. Their very reasonable fee is quoted entirely separately.

      Even without the avios they’d be the first place I’d look for a transfer particularly a large one.

      • Lyn says:

        (Transfer)wise is also transparent in this way. And reliable. So worth a comparison with Midpoint before doing a large transfer.

  • Charles Martel says:

    Qantas have been running “Points Planes” where every seat is available for redemptions, are these available to Oneworld partner programmes or are they exclusive to QFF?

    • Lady London says:

      No idea but the first or early Rome and Los Angeles planes are points planes, every seat available for points.

      A great way for Qantas to get some points balance liability off their balance sheet.

      You’d be able to check easily if we can use avios by sesrching or asking BA can they see points seats on the route’s first day. Those for sure are points planes. I’d be surprised if Qantas invented a new Qantas-only fare class for points seats on these planes if they didn’t have one already?

      executivetraveller dot com dot au has covered these flights in detail

    • Lyn says:

      I don’t know but I suspect they could be exclusive to Qantas FF, as a way of rewarding their loyal customers.

      It would probably be easy for them to do this, in the same way as they offer, say, “bid to upgrade” only to QFF members.

      • Charles Martel says:

        While air lines scrabble for cash it could be a way of QF pinching BA, AA point revenue. It’s hard to tell whether a lack of QF availability on BA is because Aussies have snapped them up or the failure of IAG IT to import/link the data.

  • Harry T says:

    The Moxy bed is a torture device though! Easily the worst I’ve experienced.

  • Gus Paul says:

    Australia has a reasonable Italian diaspora I think so perhaps not too surprising on route choice.

    • JamesHa11 says:

      Yeah thought the same when I read it. I’m in Melbourne but hairdresser was saying how parts of Western Australia have huge Italian communities.

  • Softy25 says:

    I worked for QF back inn’80’s. My theory for SYD/PER/FCO is that the southern Mediterranean is a huge VFR destination and on the opening up post covid VFR will be huge and Italy, Greece the Balkans were huge post war migration to Oz. A much better bet than FRA which is more tourism based. So 10/10 for QF planners in my view.

    • Lady London says:

      Certainly until recently I think the biggest “heritage” nation of Australians was Italian. Sounds about right that Greece would be 2nd.

      • Lyn says:

        Yes, the choice of Rome as a second destination after London doesn’t surprise me at all with so many family ties between Australia and Italy. Although it might have been a toss-up between Sydney and Melbourne for the final destination in this particular case.

        Lady London – there is a saying that the second largest city in Greece is Melbourne. It rings true.

        • Lyn says:

          Thinking more about this, it feels like Qantas going back towards their international roots. They used to fly from Rome to Melbourne (I think rather than Sydney) via Bangkok. Several of the cabin crew spoke Italian and English seemed very much a second language on these flights.

          This should be a success for Qantas this summer, as long as Western Australia’s borders open to NSW and stay that way. I don’t know if Darwin would be a back-up if not?

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