Qantas has announced that their return of flights from Sydney to San Francisco will come at the cost of a few flights from Sydney to LAX.
These direct flights will return after their cancellation in 2011 on the newer Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
From 20 December 2015, the new direct services will operate on peak days before increasing to six times per week in January 2016.
The return to SFO forms part of a “significant expansion” of the flying kangaroo’s relationship with American Airlines, who will itself begin direct daily flights between Sydney and Los Angeles for the first time from 19 December 2015.
Utilising new B777-300ER aircraft, American’s new flights will replace four of Qantas’ current B747 weekly services from Sydney to LA and one B747 Melbourne to LA service per week. Qantas’ daily A380 flights to LAX as well as its B747 Brisbane-LA services will be unaffected.
Representing a “natural evolution” of the existing alliance between the two carriers, Qantas says the relationship will provide opportunities for future growth into trans-Pacific markets not currently served by either airline.
“Together with American, we can offer direct flights and unrivalled frequencies from Australia to Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas Fort Worth, seasonal services to Vancouver and one stop services to JFK via LAX,” Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said.
“We also offer coordinated schedules that allow seamless travel within the United States and Australia.”
Now the most popular onward destination for Qantas customers travelling to the US, Joyce said there would be high demand for direct flights to San Francisco, as well as strong growth in US visitors coming to Australia.
“The world’s largest airline will be talking a lot more about Australia in their home market, and that’s great news for tourism.”