Another step closer to direct flights from Australia to Chicago on the Flying Kangaroo

VH-ZNA, Boeing 787-9, Adelaide Airport. © Aussie Weekend Traveller (Bradley Hogg) 2019

Qantas News
Date Posted 01/07/2019

The Flying Kangaroo continues to build their United States footprint by recently adding Chicago to their global network for the first time ever in the airlines 99 year history.

This announcement comes as part of the National carrier’s joint venture with long time oneworld alliance member, American Airlines. Final approval is pending from the United States Department of Transport (USDOT) for increased traffic to the US, as well as the addition of new destinations and the ability to partner up with American Airlines.

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner View

Qantas will utilise their newest members of their aircraft fleet, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on this route. This will allow passengers to experience extreme levels of comfort and luxury in all classes including Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy. The new wave of Dreamliner’s are set to arrive later this year before being deployed on the Sydney to Auckland Route.

Chicago Map (Image: Google)

Chicago isn’t the only US destination that Qantas will serve from Brisbane, a new San Francisco service will also commence prior to April 2020, once the joint venture has been given final approval from the Department of Transport.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will offer an extra 170,000 seats across the pacific each year from Brisbane. Seats will go on sale in the coming weeks pending an announcement when these two services will begin operating.

San Francisco City Outlook

Not only is Chicago a welcomed addition to the Qantas network, it also becomes a huge benefit to all US bound travellers. Chicago is home to one of American Airlines major hubs, with this new gateway destination passengers can to connect onto 30 additional one-stop destinations from Australia.

These destinations include Phoenix, Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth, Charlotte and Seattle just to name a few. If connections are more of your thing, Chicago Airport and American Airlines, along with their affiliated airlines offer passengers a choice of over 200 routes around the world.

VH-ZNA, Boeing 787-9, Sydney Airport. © Aussie Weekend Traveller (Bradley Hogg) 2019

“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.”

Said Alan Joyce, Qantas Group Chief Executive.

The new direct service to Chicago covers a distance of 14,326 kilometres, that’s only 173 kilometres shorter than the current direct service to London from Perth!0

Flight times will have a scheduled duration of 16hrs and 20mins, but it all depends on the weather conditions on the day.

Not only will it become Qantas’ second longest route in their network, it will become the fourth longest passenger flight in the world. Flights to Chicago will operate four times each week, saving up to 6 hours of travel time on a return trip.

Top 10 Longest Passenger Flights. © Aussie Weekend Traveller (Bradley Hogg) 2019

The San Francisco service will operate three times each week, and will complement the already in operation flights from Sydney and Melbourne. This allows passengers to have the choice of choosing one of the double daily Dreamliner services from Australia’s East Coat to San Francisco. Thankfully for passengers, the new direct San Francisco flight isn’t as long as the Chicago route but will still take around 12hrs and 40mins to get there. The distance travelled is only a short 11,367 kilometres when compared against the new Chicago service.

“This is fantastic news for Queensland. It demonstrates the confidence that we have in the local tourism industry and our commitment to the Sunshine State.”

Said Alan Joyce, Qantas Group Chief Executive.
Brisbane City Centre

It’s a win-win for passengers and tourism for both Australian’s and American’s looking at making the journey and exploring everything each location has to offer. Over $150 million will be injected into the Queensland economy over the next three years just from these two new routes alone.

“The launch of flights to San Francisco, and for the first time in the Qantas network Chicago as a gateway to the Midwest and east coast, represents a great opportunity for Queensland, one that is forecast to support more than 1,700 jobs over the next three years.”

Said Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The only downside of Qantas using Brisbane as one of their main hubs for US bound flights is that their own much valued, high tiered, Frequent Flyers who have become accustomed to the First Class lounges in Melbourne and Sydney will miss out on this highly sought after benefit in Brisbane. The airline only has the one International Business Class Lounge in which Qantas Club members along with the airlines elite Platinum One members will share the same precinct.

Will there ever be a First Class Lounge on offer to those high-tiered flyers in Brisbane?…
Time will tell as more routes get added and the Brisbane International route begins to expand.

These new routes will see the total number of weekly services between Brisbane and the United States total 14 services, this also includes the new daily 787-9 Dreamliner flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles service which then continues on to New York.

Chicago City (Image: Time Out)

There’s no doubting that everyone is super excited about this new direct service to Chicago, I for one am extremely determined to make the trip over to Chicago once all the details have been released in the coming weeks.

Air New Zealand announced last year that they will be operating a direct Auckland to Chicago service and its good to see that Qantas will give them some competition on this route.

More details will be announced by Qantas once the final approval for the joint venture between American Airlines and Qantas has all been given the green light.

Watch This Space….. ✈

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