Qantas to launch Melbourne-San Francisco with a 787-9

Qantas to launch Melbourne-San Francisco with a 787-9

Qantas has announced nonstop flights from Melbourne Tullamarine to San Francisco International starting late next year with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The flight will be operated on four days of the week, with the aircraft plying the route will be used on the other three days to supplement the Red Roo’s daily Airbus A380 flight between Melbourne and Los Angeles.

The Australian flag carrier’s recently-delivered Dreamliners are configured with three classes: business, premium economy and economy. Business class features 42 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, with all seats having direct access to the aisle. The seat is based on Thompson Aero’s Vantage XL, with improvements being made by Qantas’ in-house designer David Caon. There are 28 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and 166 economy in a 3-3-3 configuration.

The news is not entirely surprising as Qantas CEO Alan Joyce had previously hinted the airline’s new Dreamliners would be used for new routes. United and Qantas both fly from San Francisco to Sydney, so connecting to Melbourne requires an extra flight.

Indeed, many Australia-bound travellers from the Bay Area forced to fly through Los Angeles because there are a lot more direct options – and seats! – from there (i.e. American and Delta to Sydney, more capacity from Qantas to Sydney and direct flights to Melbourne and Brisbane). This will be a very welcome flight and connects Melbourne with Silicon Valley directly.

As of now, Qantas is the only airline slated to fly that route. It’ll be interesting to see if United decides to go head-to-head with Qantas on the San Francisco-Melbourne route as well.

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