The joint business venture between Qantas and American Airlines has been given final approval by the US Department of Transportation (DOT).
The approval will allow for commercial integration between the two carriers, including among other things: The opportunity to launch new routes and flights to new destinations, including to city pairs not currently served by either carrier; and co-location at airports, investments in lounges, baggage systems and other infrastructure. The venture will also see cooperation on the cargo side.
The Australian carrier will begin Brisbane (BNE) to San Francisco (SFO) and Chicago (ORD), utilising B787-9 Dreamliners, starting with San Francisco on 9 February 2020. SFO seeing a three times per week service, complementing Qantas’ existing flights from Sydney and Melbourne, meaning Qantas offers a double daily Dreamliner service on the route.
Chicago flights will begin on 20 April 2020, operating four times per week. The service also opens up a new Qantas gateway into North America, with access to onward destinations across American Airlines’ extensive network including to Canada and the North Eastern US.
The 14,326 km flight from Brisbane to Chicago will be the fourth longest in the world, and the second longest flight on Qantas’ network, and take approximately 16 hours and 20 minutes (depending on winds).
Qantas International Acting CEO Naren Kumar said there had been widespread interest in the new Brisbane flights since they were announced last month.
The new routes will see a total of 14 weekly services year-round between Brisbane and the US, including the daily B787 Brisbane to Los Angeles service that continues to New York.