‘Long weekends’ in Australia are among packages being offered by travel companies on the back of the first direct flights between London and Perth.

Flight Centre has put together the Perth weekender combining the new non-stop Qantas flights with four nights at a five-star hotels in the Western Australian capital for £1,679.

Austravel packages using the new non-stop flight include a 14-night motorhome trip leading in at £1,699 per person.

The world’s shortest and fastest air link from Heathrow to Perth starts on March 25, 2018 with a duration of 17 hours – three hours quicker than the current shortest flight time to Australia.

Qantas will operate the daily service with a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which does not have to stop to re-fuel en-route.

The aircraft has been specifically designed for comfort on long-haul sectors like this single-hop ‘kangaroo route’.

The latest Qantas cabin configuration will see the aircraft offer 42 business class seats, 28 premium economy and 166 in economy. Flights will go on from Perth to Melbourne.

Flight Centre ‘destination owner’ for Australia and New Zealand, Leanne Broutta, said: “It’s amazing to think that in 1947, when Qantas first flew the entire kangaroo route, the trip would take you four days with 55 hours in the air, overnight stays in Cairo and Singapore plus five other stops along the way.

“Next year – 71 years later – the new 17-hour non-stop flight from London means you’ll get there in a single hop.

“It will make the beautiful coastline of Western Australia, not to mention the wine region of Margaret River, more accessible than ever before. You could even visit Perth for a long weekend if you wanted.”