Qantas’ first Perth to London flight has taken off, marking the start of the only direct air link between Australia and Europe — and the fastest way of traveling between the two continents. As we wrote in January, starting 25 March 2018, the QF10 will depart London Heathrow arriving Perth the next day. The route will give travelers a choice to continue on to Melbourne or to one of eleven other destinations from Perth with a same-day connectionPerth to London a Historical Quantas FlightThe history-making QF9, carrying more than 200 passengers and 16 crew, pushed back just before 7pm on Saturday evening and will land in London at 5am on Sunday. Operated flying a Boeing 787-9, the flight reduces total travel time by eliminating stopovers and taking advantage of the most favorable winds on any given day without stops in the Middle East or Asia.Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce: “This is a truly historic flight that opens up a new era of travel. For the first time, Australia and Europe have a direct air link,” said Mr Joyce. “The original Kangaroo Route from Australia to London was named for the seven stops it made over four days back in 1947. Now we can do it in a single leap.”Meet Captain Lisa NormanThis historical flight was flown under the command of Captain Lisa Norman. Although she never planned a career as a pilot.“I think I have always wanted to be a pilot, but I was born in the wrong body, and those around me didn’t recognize my desire.” She must have done a lot of things right during her career as she is now Qantas’ 787 chief pilot and in command of the first non-stop Perth to London flight.Despite more than a passing interest, Capt. Norman never thought about flying as a career. A visit to Sydney Airport where she took in all the sounds and smells sparked something inside. “I loved the smell of the kerosene, and I felt like an aviation nerd,” Capt. Norman said. “I came back to Melbourne and said to a friend, ‘I really like this flying thing.’ She said, ‘Why don’t you do it as a career?’ ”Diversity at commercial airlinesIn the United States, only 4.4% of commercial airline pilots are female. Qantas’ pilot roster is slightly more diverse with around 6% female pilots. Choosing Captain Lisa Norman to lead this flight was not a publicity ploy by Qantas. Norman is not big on gender issues. “It doesn’t matter if you’re Black, White, gay or straight — if you have a passion you can do anything,” she said.She never believed a non-stop would become a reality. “When I joined Qantas, not in my wildest imagination would I have thought this possible. This is absolutely the pinnacle of my career. No one has ever done this before. I’ve flown into Perth lots, and I’ve flown into London lots, but I’ve actually never joined the two dots, Perth to London, together before.”Let Us Help YouWe believe our world is a better place when compassion can travel where it is needed most. That is why we devote ourselves to serving those who serve the world. By being a genuine global travel organization, our experienced staff is reachable via diverse means of communication at any given time. Use our quick address locator to contact your nearest Raptim office should you have any questions. You can follow our blog for more stories and travel information.