Qantas Is Launching Melbourne To San Francisco Flights In 2018

Filed Under: Qantas

Qantas has really been hyping their new 787s, which I guess I can’t blame them before, given that up until now they’ve only been able to operate ultra longhaul flights with A380s and 747s. In that sense, 787s open up a whole new world for them. While the most exciting route that Qantas will fly with the 787 is Perth to London as of March 2018, their first longhaul 787 route is Melbourne to Los Angeles, and that kicks off tomorrow, December 15, 2017 (which is today in Australia).

In celebration of Qantas launching their first longhaul 787 route, the airline has just announced another new route. Qantas plans to offer 787 flights between Melbourne and San Francisco as of late 2018. While the exact frequency and schedule details haven’t yet been shared, the plan is for tickets to go on sale in early 2018.

Given Qantas’ small longaul fleet, this new route will come at the expense of some existing capacity. As Qantas describes it in their press release:

Capacity between Melbourne and the US will be rebalanced to match demand for the two Californian cities, meaning that the Dreamliner will fly to Los Angeles some days of the week and San Francisco other days.

As it stands, Qantas operates 13x weekly flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles, so my guess is that Qantas will maybe shift 3-4x weekly flights in the market to San Francisco.

Qantas already offers 6-7x weekly flights between Sydney and San Francisco using a 747, so they’ll have quite an impressive presence in San Francisco. While San Francisco isn’t a huge city for Qantas’ oneworld partner American, it is a hub for Alaska/Virgin America, which they also partner with, so I imagine they’ll get a fair bit of feed there.

While San Francisco is United’s hub, they only offer flights from there to Sydney, and not to Melbourne.

In terms of the experience you can expect on the 787-9, Qantas has these planes in a pretty premium heavy configuration, with a total of 236 seats. This includes 42 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 166 economy class seats. The business class seats are based on the Vantage XL seat, meaning there will be direct aisle access and quite a bit of privacy.

Qantas 787 business class

What do you make of Qantas’ new Melbourne to San Francisco route?

  1. I know there were some rumors of Seattle, a shame the 787 wasn’t rostered there as I imagine with AS feed and SEA not having any Australia flights that might be a good fit.

  2. We understand that Qantas is looking to fly its Boeing 787 from Melbourne to San Francisco four days a week, and Los Angeles on the other three days

  3. Flew Qantas F MEL-LAX in their A380 this year. I love the A380 for the space, especially in F. While the 787 is a great plane, for 12 plus hour TPAC flights I’d rather fly a A380, A330 or 777; sadly the 747s are few in number left.

  4. Sadly Qantas award seats for business or first are very hard to come by and if you can find them, usually only one is available so you can’t travel with your other half… so move along…nothing much to see here.

  5. I don’t understand why there aren’t more flights between the US and Australia

    Flights are consistently 2-3x more expensive to go to Australia compared to Asia.

    Given that, there must be demand. Why aren’t flights increased?

  6. @Bradders I know for the other 4 Dreamliners to be based in Brisbane (the other 4 (first 4) are based in melbourne), 2 will fly to Seattle, Chicago or Dallas (to be determined) alongside the 2 Dreamliner already assigned the BNE-LAX-JFK service which will replace the 747s.

  7. It will be a bit harder for them to take advantage of onward/connecting traffic at SFO, no? Because for LAX they have the possibility and efficiency of their (and AA’s) frequent LAX-JFK routes, while at SFO it’s a little more sparse for options and fewer Oneworld partners.

  8. Will be exciting if they release any award space on this. I have flown LAX-MEL and even though it is shorter mileage-wise than DFW-SYD, it was the longest flight time-wise I have ever been for the westward journey. I was surprised to see SFO-MEL is actually a hair shorter than LAX-MEL.

  9. @erick – Qantas has a very evolved code sharing and frequent flyer arrangement with Alaska Airlines. AS you may know, Alaska has quite the presence now at SFO. QF will be fed well there.

  10. @Jackson … if only wishing made it so re Seattle! I see the city appeal of Chicago, but fingers crossed the Alaska connection in Seattle wins the day! Would be a shame for Texas to get more capacity!

  11. SEA would be a fantastic addition especially with Alaska Airlines connections to Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria and Kelowna.

    I fly ADL-MEL-LAX-SEA every two weeks so that route would make my life a lot easier. Seattle is home to many high profile companies as well as a huge half billion $$ project by BHP in Hoquiam, WA.

  12. I don’t really get a route like BNE-SEA or even ORD.

    How many Aussies wanna go to Seattle? LA, NYC and SF are all destinations in their own right – and Aussie flock to all 3.

    But I’ve really never heard of Aussies wanting to go to Seattle or Chicago. Is the demand there?

  13. Didn’t QF stop SF service several years ago because of poor yields? It only very recently resumed. If that’s the case, and with MEL and SYD being fairly close by connecting traffic standards, this seems like a market saturation. I can’t imagine there’s that much desire to go to SF that can’t be handled by the SYD-SFO route. I’d be curious to know the passenger loads and/or what the operational cost is versus pax loads that makes this viable. I mean, I love having another OW option from the Left Coast, but I don’t want to see this evaporate because the revenue just isn’t there or poor forward planning.

  14. They stopped the route because a lot of routes were making them lose money. Now that Qantas is making profits again, they can afford to introduce new routes.

  15. @Russell Yes, both do not have huge demand from Aussies but I understand that Chicago is a huge hub for AA which makes sense for QF for Australian flyers that don’t want to connect through Sydney and LAX to get to the east coast. Brisbane has much more appeal for connecting Australians, as well as Chicago being far better than LAX.

  16. QF have said quite a large percentage of their MEL-LAX connecting PAX go to SFO as their final destination, so makes sense for them to go there.

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