Qantas will bring back non-stop flights between San Francisco and Sydney on December 20, 2015 after a four year hiatus.
Initially, the flight will operated on peak days (see below) and ramp up to six B747-400 flights a week from January 2016. The new service will cut around four hours of travel time by removing the need to connect through LAX under the existing Qantas/American Airlines arrangements.
Currently, only United flies nonstop between SFO and Sydney and its current round trip economy class fares are in the $1,800 range. Business class is $8,000.
The new services form part of an expanded relationship with American Airlines which, subject to approval from regulators, will also see American launch non-stop flights from Los Angeles to Sydney.
Qantas ceased flying to San Francisco in 2011, when it instead started operating from American Airlines’ hub in Dallas/Fort Worth (in addition to its ongoing Honolulu, Los Angeles and New York services). This decision was also made in wake of the Global Financial Crisis, when business travel on the route dropped.
Related: Saying goodbye to QANTAS in 2011
Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce, said Qantas had a special relationship with San Francisco.
“San Francisco was Qantas’ very first U.S. destination when we started our services across the Pacific in the 1950s. It remains a hugely popular destination for Australians and we’re thrilled to be going back after a gap of a few years,” said Mr Joyce.
The airlines say that they will shortly apply for regulatory approval for these new arrangements.
^SYD-SFO services will not operate on 23rd, 24th, 25th and 31st December 2015.
Under the expanded Qantas-American Airlines arrangement customers will be able to fly Qantas’ reconfigured B747-400 six times per week on the San Francisco-Sydney route; featuring the same product found on the airline’s A380s, including Marc Newson’s fully-flat Skybed in Business, award winning Economy cabin and large seat-back screens with over 1500 entertainment options. American Airlines will codeshare on these services.
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