AUSTRALIAN travellers received some good news today with Qantas announcing two new non-stop routes from Brisbane to the United States.
In a major coup for Queensland, Australia's national carrier confirmed it will fly directly from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco, the first direct flight to Chicago from any Australian city.
The new routes, to be operated by Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, are expected to launch by the end of April 2020 and will add more than 170,000 seats across the Pacific each year.
The airline is awaiting approval of its joint business with American Airlines from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) before seats go on sale in the coming weeks.
The direct service from Brisbane - which will take around 16 hours and 20 minutes - will save customers flying between Australia and Chicago more than six hours of travel time on a return trip, while the new three-times-per-week Brisbane to San Francisco service will take 12 hours and 40 minutes.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the launch of 787 flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco would be a win for customers and tourism.
“This is fantastic news for Queensland," he said. "It demonstrates the confidence that we have in the local tourism industry and our commitment to the Sunshine State.
“These new services will connect both Australian business travellers and holidaymakers with key centres of commerce, industry and culture in the United States."
The announcement comes after Qantas expanded their International Brisbane Lounge by 25 percent this year in response to the popularity of flights from the Queensland capital.