As of today, Qantas is resuming flights to New York, for the first time in over three years. However, the New York service looks a bit different than it did pre-pandemic.
In this post:
Qantas returns to New York as of June 2023
As of June 14, 2023, Qantas has launched a new 3x weekly flight from Sydney to New York via Auckland. The flight operates on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with the following schedule:
QF3 Sydney to Auckland departing 10:05AM arriving 3:15PM
QF3 Auckland to New York departing 5:00PM arriving 5:15PM
QF4 New York to Auckland departing 7:30PM arriving 5:00AM (+2 days)
QF4 Auckland to Sydney departing 6:30AM arriving 8:05AM
The route will be expanded to 4x weekly as of October 30, 2023, with the addition of another frequency on Mondays.
This marathon flight covers a distance of 10,173 miles in each direction, with the segment between Auckland and New York covering a distance of 8,828 miles. The transpacific journey is blocked at 16hr15min eastbound and 17hr30min westbound, and the overall journey to & from Sydney journey is blocked at 21hr10min eastbound and 22hr35min westbound.
Qantas has fifth freedom rights between Auckland and New York, meaning you could fly the airline exclusively between New Zealand and the United States. Furthermore, Qantas offers 11 daily services from Australia to Auckland, for passengers to connect from other points in Australia to New York in one stop.
Qantas is using a Boeing 787-9 for this New York flight, featuring just 236 seats (this is a pretty sparse configuration, as many full service airlines have nearly 300 seats on these planes). As far as the configuration goes, Qantas’ Boeing 787-9s have 42 business class seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration.
Then the 787-9s have 28 premium economy seats, in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Lastly in economy there are 166 seats, in a 3-3-3 configuration.
How the New York flight fits into Qantas’ route network
New York marks a service resumption for Qantas, rather than a new destination for the airline. However, this route is new. Back in the day, Qantas operated a flight from Los Angeles to New York, which essentially allowed people to connect from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, onto this flight.
I always found that to be a rather inefficient service, since the airline couldn’t transport passengers exclusively between Los Angeles & New York, so the flight often wasn’t very full. Furthermore, Qantas joint venture partner American has frequent service between Los Angeles and New York, on some pretty comfortable planes.
This Auckland to New York service will be offered as part of the joint venture between American Airlines and Qantas, meaning that American will likely be marketing this flight quite a bit as well.
We know that Qantas plans to fly nonstop from Australia to New York (and London) as of 2025, as the airline has ordered Airbus A350-1000s that will be capable of operating these flights nonstop. They’ll be by far the world’s longest flights.
When it launches, Qantas’ Auckland to New York flight will be Qantas’ third longest route, at 8,823 miles:
- Perth to London covers a distance of 9,009 miles
- Melbourne to Dallas covers a distance of 8,992 miles
This new route is possible for Qantas as the airline is in the process of taking delivery of three additional Boeing 787s. The airline had been dealing with some Boeing 787 delivery delays, but those planes have finally joined Qantas’ fleet.
Qantas’ New York inspired amenities & food
Qantas is celebrating its return to New York City with a number of New York-themed customer initiatives.
For a limited time, business class passengers on this new flight will be provided special pajamas. The pajamas will feature a monogram of the Qantas “Roo” and Rebecca Vallance logo, incorporating the flight numbers QF3 and QF4, along with a New York heart design.
On top of that, Qantas is introducing a number of special menu items for this new route, in partnership with Neil Perry. Passengers traveling in premium cabins to and from New York can expect to see the following items on the menu:
- New York style spaghetti and meatballs
- Classic Reuben sandwich
- NY bagel with lox, cream cheese, capers and lemon
- General Tso chicken with smashed cucumber salad, steamed rice and broccolini
- Classic beef hot dog with sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard
- Seared beef fillet with creamed spinach and baked potato with sour cream and chives
- Pecan pie with crème fraiche
- New York style baked cheesecake with blueberry compote
On top of that, the Qantas First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, and the Auckland International Lounge, are featuring a New York inspired dish of the day for the month of June, along with Manhattan Spritz and Garibaldi cocktails.
As of June 2023, Qantas has launched a new 3x weekly flight between Sydney and New York, which operates via Auckland (it will be expanded to 4x weekly as of later this year). The airline is using a Boeing 787-9 for this service, and it’s expected that this flight will stick around until Qantas is able to launch nonstop Sydney to New York flights in 2025.
This seems to me like a smart way for Qantas to return to New York, and it gives some competition to Air New Zealand, which recently started operating the same route.
What do you make of Qantas’ new route to New York?