How Perth Is Becoming The International Airport Hub Of Australia

Perth, Australia could be the next major world hub, mirroring other connecting airports like Dubai and Singapore. With new direct routes to Europe (such as the Qantas route to London), Perth is quickly becoming a preferred option for travel between Australia and Europe .

This three-part series will go over the new directions, visions, and challenges for this strategically located city.

How Perth Is Becoming The International Airport Hub Of Australia
How Perth is becoming the international aviation hub of Australia. Graphic: Simple Flying

Where is Perth?

For those just joining us, Perth is located right here.

Perth is located far from everything. Source: Google Maps.

Located on the western coast of Australia, Perth has been rightly dubbed one of the most isolated cities in the world. It has a population of around two million Australians and is rich from industrial mining up and down the coast.

But its natural beauty should not be snubbed, with some of the best beaches in Australia and super remote localities that are perfect for those looking to get lost. This location, as it turns out, is growing more and more useful.

Gateway to Europe

Whilst there have always been international flights from Perth to destinations such as Bali, Singapore, and Dubai, the real game changer has been the Qantas Perth to London direct route.

Qantas is able to do this by flying a Boeing 787. The aircraft’s excellent fuel efficiency means that longer routes are now possible without having to stop for fuel.

Perth to London can skip refueling in Singapore or Dubai. Source: Qantas

Flying for only 16 hours, the new route has been incredibly popular. With an onboard load factor of 94%, it has even forced rival carriers to drop their prices to remain competitive. Airlines such as Emirates and Singapore are now neck and neck to win business, whilst Qantas sits back and scoops up the premium market.

But Qantas themselves have not been idle; they have been hard at work developing new routes to cities in Germany and France. Knowing that passengers are willing to pay a premium to fly as direct as possible, Qantas doesn’t want to be left behind.

If these new routes open up, it would mean the quickest way from many European destinations to anywhere in Australia would be via the hub airport of Perth.

How Perth Is Becoming The International Airport Hub Of Australia
A Qantas 787 Dreamliner flies from Perth direct to Europe without stopping. Source: Qantas

Perth Airport has two terminals and two runways, the second of which could be theoretically expanded to accommodate bigger aircraft. But to fuel this international growth, the airport will also need to be expanded…

Airport expansion

Back in 2017, Perth Airport revealed a vast expansion plan.

We are already working toward delivering the long-held vision of having one centralized airport precinct including an Upgraded International Terminal; a new Integrated Domestic Terminal which will meld seamlessly with the international terminal; and a new parallel runway to future proof our airport. Perth is now the natural entry point to Australia for the majority of the world’s population so from here, the possibilities are endless…”. Perth Airport masterplan.

Perth Airport
A render of the future of Perth Airport. Source: Perth Airport

The expansion plan includes many new gates, a new runway and integrating the two terminals with an internal transport service and connections to the city.

We envisage having the runway open by 2027 but that may be brought forward to 2024 if demand increases ahead of forecast,” Perth airport said in a statement. “The new runway has the potential to deliver significant benefits to the WA economy“.

The future of Perth Airport international terminal. Source: Perth Airport

This expansion has not been without controversy, as Perth has threatened to bar money-maker Qantas from their airspace. In fact, they are suing the airline for unpaid airport fees to help pay for the construction, with the airline refusing to back down.

The Perth Airport was one of the most expensive domestic airports Qantas flies into. We are willing to pay fair and reasonable charges but want to ensure that our customers are not paying more in airport charges than is absolutely necessary.” – Qantas statement

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s article, focusing on a new unusual and untapped market for Perth. 

EDIT: You can check out Part 2 of this article series here.