BREAKING : At a media conference today (17th June) in Brisbane, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has announced flights from Brisbane to Chicago and Brisbane to San Francisco, which will commence in April 2020.
There will be four flights a week to Chicago and three flights a week to San Francisco. The Chicago flights will open up more than 30 new one stop destinations to Australians using OneWorld codeshare partner American Airlines.
The flight to Chicago will take 16 hours 20 minutes and cover 14,362km. It will be the fourth longest airline route in the world and the second longest in the Qantas network.
Joyce told reporters,
“This will give Qantas and American Airlines customers unprecedented access. These flights will make it one stop from Chicago to Hamilton Island or San Francisco to Townsville.”
Details of the new routes
In conjunction with the daily 787 flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles, there will now be 14 flights a week between Brisbane and the United States, all using 787 Dreamliners. The 11,367km journey between Brisbane and San Francisco will take 12 hours 40 minutes.
The San Francisco services will complement the existing services out of Sydney and Melbourne. San Francisco will now have two daily Qantas 787 services.
“These new services will connect both Australian business travellers and holidaymakers with key centres of commerce, industry and culture in the United States,” said Mr Joyce.
As reported in Simple Flying, these flights have been anticipated since the joint venture between Qantas and American Airlines was approved earlier this month.
Prior to today’s announcement there have been no direct flights between Australia and the midwest. Aussie travellers had to transit via LAX or use Air New Zealand’s nonstop service from Auckland to Chicago.
Brisbane is the launching point for these flights as the 787’s don’t quite have the capacity to reach into the midwest from Sydney or Melbourne. Chicago is some 14,800 km from Sydney, marginally more from Melbourne and marginally less from Brisbane
Brisbane is also the base for the Qantas 787s.
Flying in style
It’s a long flight across the Pacific but the 787 is a great aircraft to do it in. Business passengers will enjoy the latest business class suites in a 1-2-1 configuration in the 42 seat business class cabins.
There are 28 recliner style seats in the cosy premium economy cabin to make that 16 hour flights just a bit more comfortable. In premium economy you get to curl up under a deliciously warm Qantas doona.
In the main economy cabin there are 166 seats in a mostly 3-3-3 configuration. The economy class seats have a pitch of 32″ and a width of 17.2″ and comprehensive IFE on the long trek across the Pacific.
Today’s announcement comes as Qantas grows its route network and deploys their new 787’s as they progressively come online. It’s a big win for Queenslanders and makes iconic destinations like the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays more accessible for a couple of lucky North American cities.
Will you fly Qantas to Australia from the US? Let us know in the comments!