American Airlines will make the Los Angeles-Sydney route into one of the most competitive across the Pacific when it starts service there on December 17, subject to government approvals. American announced the new route this week.
The route is already served by Delta, United, Virgin Australia and American’s joint venture partner Qantas, with whom American will coordinate schedules and pricing. The two will also partner on a revived San Francisco-Sydney route to be operated by Qantas starting December 20.
Current (late June) economy class roundtrip fares run in the $1,500-$2,000 range and business class comes in at around $6,000-$7,000. First is about $12,000.
Besides having a joint business venture across the Pacific, American and Qantas are both members of the Oneworld alliance.
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American said its new LAX-SYD route will initially operate on “peak days,” increasing to six times a week in January. The carrier plans to use a three-class 777-300ER on the route, with premium cabins that feature all-aisle access, fully lie-flat seats and a walk-up bar; and a rear cabin that includes AA’s extra-legroom Main Cabin Extra seating as well as regular economy seats.
All seats come with personal entertainment systems offering up to 250 movies, 180 TV shows and hundreds of audio selections; international Wi-Fi service; and AC and USB ports.
“This expansion represents the natural evolution of the collaboration between American and Qantas, with revenue-sharing and other agreements that provide the airlines with a platform for closer commercial ties and an even more seamless customer experience on routes between North America and Australia/New Zealand,” American said. “The closer and more integrated relationship also provides opportunities for future growth into trans-Pacific markets not currently served by either airline, such as New Zealand.”
What do you think is the best way to fly to Australia? Do you think all the new competition will bring fares down at all? Please leave your comments below.
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