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Top photo by Christopher Dollesin | Bottom photo by Qantas

American and Qantas increase Their Partnership: Announce New Trans-Pacific Routes

On Tuesday, June 9th, Qantas and American Airlines held a press conference at the IATA Annual General Meeting. In this conference, Doug Parker, American’s CEO, and Alan Joyce, Qantas’ CEO, sat down to make numerous important announcements having to do with their route networks.

Speaking first, Doug Parker addressed members of the media. He continued by giving some background on the Qantas and American partnership. Later, he announced that American will begin service, commencing December 17th, from LAX to Sydney. This new route will be operated by American’s fairly new 777-300ER.

Now, this is not the first time that American has flown to Australia. In the 1970s, American flew to Sydney with a Boeing 707. Later, American flew a Dallas-Sydney route on a DC-10. The aircraft operating these flights would make stops, sometimes multiple, along the way. With the 777-300ER, customers can expect a nonstop service across the pacific.

(Hat tip to @airlineroute for past American Airlines Sydney service information) 

Later in the press conference, Alan Joyce spoke. Similar to Parker, Joyce gave some background on Qantas itself and its partnership with American.

Effective December 20th, Qantas says that it will begin service from SFO-SYD on peak days. Later, the service will ramp-up to 6 days per week. The flight will be operated by a 747-400 with an A380-style cabin configuration.

Qantas has operated an SFO route in the past. In fact, Sydney to San Francisco has been a very popular route. According to the airline,

“Qantas’ flights to San Francisco are made possible by American Airlines starting a direct daily Sydney to Los Angeles service from 19 December 2015. This will replace four Qantas’ B747 Sydney to Los Angeles services per week and one Qantas B747 Melbourne to Los Angeles service per week.”

In a press release, Qantas stated that customers can expect the following with the new routes:

  • Access 45 flights per week (combined) across the Pacific to mainland North America; this includes an increase in services from Sydney to Los Angeles from 14 to 17 per week.
  • Access to more than 150 destinations throughout North America on American Airline’s extensive network from Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles and San Francisco including more than 50 destinations from Los Angeles.
  • From Sydney access more than 60 Qantas Group destinations across Australia and New Zealand. The enhanced joint business partnership also provides opportunities for future growth into trans-Pacific markets not currently served by either airline, such as New Zealand.
  • Fly American Airlines’ new flagship Boeing 777-300ER on the Sydney-Los Angeles route; featuring a three-class cabin configuration with fully lie-flat seats in First and Business Class, international Wi-Fi, and more customer and cargo capacity than any other aircraft currently in American’s fleet. Qantas will codeshare on these services.
  • Fly Qantas’ reconfigured B747-400 six times per week on the Sydney-San Francisco route; featuring the same product found on the airline’s A380s, including Marc Newson’s fully-flat Skybed in Business, award winning Economy cabin and large -seat-back screens in each cabin with over 1500 entertainment options. American Airlines will codeshare on these services.

Before either airline can operate the stated routes, they must receive regulatory approval.

With these new routes, both Qantas and American will have an increased partnership and will grow the oneworld alliance. These routes should make traveling easier for customers wanting to travel between Australia and the U.S.

Watch the full press conference here:


  • Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport operations and customer service while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with pursuing a concurrent MBA and law program. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. In addition to supporting AirlineGeeks, Ryan works full-time in the aviation industry.

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