Next April will see the inauguration of nonstop flights linking the third-largest city in Australia with California and the American Midwest.
Australia’s flag carrier has unveiled plans to expand its network in the United States with the debut of two new services from Queensland’s state capital to Chicago and San Francisco by the end of April 2020. Both routes will be operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
The announcement comes on the heels of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) tentative approval of a joint venture—which represents the highest level of cooperation—between Qantas and American Airlines. The decision was a triumph for the two codeshare and Oneworld alliance partners after repeated rejections by the DOT since 2016.
Qantas’s four-times-weekly Chicago service will mark the first nonstop flights between Chicago and any Australian city, saving travelers more than six hours of travel time on a return trip using current routes and layovers. At 14,326 kilometers, the Brisbane–Chicago route will become the fourth-longest passenger flight in the world, and the second-longest in the Qantas network after its Perth–London service (14,499 kilometers). That distance translates to around 16 hours and 20 minutes in the air.
Meanwhile, the thrice-weekly Brisbane–San Francisco flights are significantly shorter at roughly 12 hours and 40 minutes each way. Taken together with existing services from Melbourne and Sydney, the new Brisbane route will boost the frequency of Qantas’s San Francisco flights to 14 per week.
Final confirmation of the new routes is dependent on the DOT’s formal approval of the joint venture, with ticket sales for both services expected to begin in the coming weeks.
More information here.