I hang out on PPrune a bit, a pilots rumour site, more to see what is going on and if any old friends crop up go have a chat.
There is a discussion running over Qantas wanting to do Oz to London non-stop - they have been doing it out of Perth for years. I've used it myself a few times. Ever since the 747-400 came along with a light load it is not a problem.
How does that happen ? Circle routes, Qantas often rotate aircraft via Perth back to Europe, not expecting to pick up a lot of passengers but often do get a lot of freight and if they can balance a load to operate direct they save on interim landing and handling fees - Perth is pretty inexpensive in that regard.
I've no idea if they are doing it at the moment, I've not had to go to the UK for several years but when FIFO was at its peak over here they could fill a 747 from the east coast very easily. Then they would pick up a load and whatever passengers, a lot of English folk here so always get some, and re-position the aircraft to Heathrow for probably neutral cost and have a profitable load-out for the return.
Amazing but a lot of commercial pilots really do not understand the economics of the industry.
Sydney to London direct, bit of a different story, Perth really is a lot closer and the climate conditions are usually more friendly for at least a part of the trip.
I'm asking some friends at Boeing but on paper even the 777ER could not do that, at least not legally.
I can't be bothered telling them, they never really listen anyway :)