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.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (November 2022)
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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
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.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.