New planned direct services from Brisbane to Chicago and Brisbane to San Francisco have been welcomed by Flight Centre Travel Group following confirmation from Qantas that services to the two US cities would be launched once final approval is received.
Executive General Manager – Flight Centre Travel Group Corporate Division James Kavanagh said that the direct services by Qantas would be welcomed by the corporate sector to two major US business destinations for Australians as well as other recent airline route announcements.
“Our customers are wanting more direct services to these cities and they will reap the benefits in terms of convenience and time savings,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“Not only will they avoid transiting through Los Angeles, but Chicago is one of American Airlines’ major hubs which will provide a further 30 one-stop destinations from Australia.
“Importantly, our customers are responding also to the comfort of the new aircraft being introduced including the 787-9 Dreamliner which Qantas will operate on these routes.
“These Qantas services which could be launched by April next year are a win-win for our FCM Travel Solutions, Corporate Traveller and Stage and Screen customers in terms of convenience and scheduling.”
Final approval of a joint business between Qantas and American Airlines is expected following tentative approval from the United States Department of Transportation earlier this month.
The direct four-times-weekly service from Brisbane to Chicago would save customers more than six hours of travel time on a return trip between the two cities. It would be the first direct non-stop link between Chicago and any Australian city.
The three-times-per-week service to San Francisco would complement Qantas’ existing flights from Sydney and Melbourne.
Qantas currently operates a daily Brisbane to Los Angeles service and these new routes would see 14 weekly services between Brisbane and the US.
United Airlines early last year commenced a non-stop service between Houston and Sydney and has announced that from October 29 it will commence a non-stop Melbourne to San Francisco service as part of an international expansion out of San Francisco.
Qantas has also announced extra flights to Honolulu and Santiago, Chile as it increases capacity for the forthcoming peak holiday season between December 2019 and February 2020 to cater for strong demand.
Mr Kavanagh said, “Key US cities are now more and more accessible non-stop from the east coast of Australia.
“There is far greater choice and convenience for business travellers not only with Qantas but also with Virgin Australia and other carriers.”