Qantas Airways Announces New Nonstop Service from SFO to Melbourne
Qantas Airways has announced plans to launch new nonstop service from the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Melbourne, Australia. The carrier, who already operates flights to Sydney from SFO, plans to add the second route in late 2018 using Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
“We are thrilled that Qantas has announced plans to add another destination from SFO,” said Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “Qantas’ reputation dates back to the dawn of commercial aviation, and we are proud to be a part of the next chapter in their rich history. This new service to Melbourne reaffirms our status as the premier gateway to the Pacific.”
Qantas is one of the largest and oldest airlines in the world, having been founded in 1920 as the Queensland and Northern Territories Aerial Services Limited. In 1954 Qantas began operating to the US for the first time, with Super Constellation services between SFO and Sydney stopping in Canton Island, Nandi and Honolulu. Five years later Qantas launched the world’s first jet service across the Pacific, operating a Boeing 707 from Sydney to San Francisco via Nadi, Fiji and Honolulu, Hawaii.
“We are excited to be offering a direct service between SFO and Melbourne later next year at a time when our presence in the U.S. is growing,” said Qantas Senior Executive Vice President – The Americas, Stephen Thompson.
“The route complements our direct Sydney to SFO service and offers another gateway into the U.S. for those traveling from Melbourne, which is great news for those travelling for leisure and for business,” said Mr. Thompson.
Australia represents a significant source of travel and tourism for San Francisco. In 2016, a total of 290,770 people visited San Francisco from Australia, ranking it eighth among international inbound markets to San Francisco. Visitors to San Francisco from Australia spent over $298M in 2016, a rate which is expected to grow at a rate of 11.5% this year. Tourism from Australia also accounted for 657,000 paid hotel nights in 2016, with a spend rate of $454 per visitor per day. (Data courtesy of the San Francisco Travel Association).
Qantas is a founding member of the oneWorld airline alliance, which includes American Airlines, British Airway, and Cathay Pacific. Service to Melbourne will be operated using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 236 seats across three cabins including the acclaimed Business Suite, nicknamed “mini First Class” by some frequent flyers, as well as a next generation Premium Economy seat and a significantly improved Economy seat with extra storage compartments and device charging outlets.