The airline plans to fly the 14,000 kilometre route between Australia and the UK by 2017 using its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, requiring extra pilots, additional cabin crew and a crew rest area that will be fitted above the passenger cabin.

It would mean flying over Crimea which is presently a no fly zone following the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

There are also concerns regarding the options of a replacement airport should the aircraft be unable to land in Perth. The closest international is 2000km away in Adelaide.