It’s been more than four years since Qantas last flew to San Francisco, but beginning December 20, the Australian flag carrier will resume non-stop services to the northern California city from Sydney. As of now, United Airlines is the only carrier to fly directly between the two cities, but Qantas has decided to add the route back to its flight roster in response to a strong demand from business travelers who—unless flying with United—have to stop over in Los Angeles, adding hours to their trip. The flight will run six times weekly serviced by a Boeing 747-400, which features 270 seats in economy seats, 36 in premium economy, and 58 in business with lie-flat beds.
In related news, American Airlines has also just announced that it will begin flying daily, direct flights between Sydney and Los Angeles on December 17 serviced by its flagship Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. This news is no coincidence; American Airlines and Qantas are partner airlines, and their decisions to expand their U.S.−Australia routes were made jointly in an effort to expand their alliance and route networks. The new Los Angeles service marks American Airlines’ first Australian service in nearly 24 years, and because of it, Qantas is trimming four of its Boeing 747 Sydney−LAX weekly flights and one of its 747 Melbourne−LAX flights from its schedule beginning in December, allowing that aircraft to be put on the the San Francisco route.