Qantas Chicago flights start 2020, is non-stop to Seattle next?

By Chris Chamberlin, June 18 2019

Qantas plans to begin non-stop flights from Brisbane to both Chicago and San Francisco by the end of April 2020, but that doesn't mean Seattle has been crossed off the list.

Speaking with Executive Traveller at the announcement of the direct Chicago flights, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says there are potentially more US destinations to come.

“When we’ll start off, Brisbane-Chicago is four flights a week, and Brisbane-San Francisco is three flights a week. We’ll want to get to daily flights as fast as we can, and that will be our first priority,” says Joyce.

“We’re also very keen on other destinations in the US, and as we have more Boeing 787s coming, as we show that these (existing) routes make sense, we’ll be looking to further growth."

Seattle was widely considered as a Plan B should the US Department of Transport not agree to Qantas' proposed joint venture with American Airlines – a partnership now tentatively approved and awaiting the formality of a rubber stamp – and would see Qantas deepen its relationship with Alaska Airlines.

As home to technology giants such as Microsoft and Amazon plus 'satellite' offices of Silicon Valley-based companies like Google and Facebook, along with a wide range of start-ups, Seattle's tech cred is an obvious drawcard and comes second only to San Francisco as the USA's top tech market.

However, Seattle is also a refreshingly different US city with plenty of appeal in its own right; serves as a gateway to Canada via Vancouver; and anchors a sizeable cruise market into Alaska and tours through the Canadian Rockies, with several cruising and travel companies already booking blocks of seats on Air Canada flights between Australia and Vancouver.

As to why Chicago and San Francisco won over the likes of Seattle or Dallas/Fort Worth, Joyce explains: “We did a real review of all of the potential routes we could do (out of Brisbane) with American Airlines, and our partner Alaska Airlines.”

“We did the maths, we did the numbers on it, and we felt that Chicago and San Francisco are the two best routes for us.”

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

kimshep

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 492

It is great to see QF diversifying it's old "Air Sydney" international model to finally share the love around its vast Australian network. SYD, MEL and BNE are their three largest network markets. The real challenge will be to extend this philosophy to Australian international gateways including PER, ADL and DRW where SE Asian carriers such as SQ, CX, CZ and MH are eating QF's lunch daily.


With the eventual development of Project Sunrise running in parallel with the B787 strategy, one has to wonder if QF will at some time consider a non-stop MIA service from the East Coast? Or perhaps, greater emphasis on South Africa non-stops to JNB and CPT (Capetown)?

Specialist routes such as these are some 5-8 years off at the earliest, but are those that could lead the way back to QF dominating the Australian international travel market. The new era of efficient smaller, long haul frames will upend the market in ways yet unimagined.

levelnine

levelnine

27 Apr 2017

Total posts 39

But Joyce has already stated the reason why BNE was chosen over SYD/MEL: distance.

From the article: "Brisbane has an advantage: it’s closer to a lot more (US) destinations than Sydney or Melbourne, so that gives us the ability to do things like Dallas, or to do other cities in the States that we can’t do from any other state in Australia,” Joyce adds.

Once Project Sunrise comes online and Qantas has the aircraft to do all these destinations from SYD/MEL, not BNE, it is unlikely that Qantas will continue to diversify beyond SYD/MEL. If anything, it is likely that there will be a shift back to SYD/MEL.

PDR

PDR

04 Feb 2013

Total posts 5

I'm not so sure about that. The Project Sunrise aircraft will seat about 300pax in a 4-class configuration, according to Joyce. That's nowhere as large as an A380 or even the B744ERs, so it won't require Qantas to funnel the same level of connecting traffic from BNE/ADL etc through SYD to fill the plane. And, the First Class configuration means it won't be suitable for a lot of destinations. As such, I suspect there will continue to be plenty of room for flights from BNE and other capitals.

Sydney787

Sydney787

American Airlines - AAdvantage

02 Jun 2019

Total posts 10

When will Alan Joyce buy more 787-9 ? Qantas has options for dozens and the 747 retires in 2020, Santiago and Johannesburg will require 787-9 too. With all the demands on the 787 fleet, it looks as the Red Roo will get more, perhaps when they order 777-8/9 Qantas will surprise us all.

sanj747

sanj747

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2016

Total posts 88

Welcomed news from Qantas but they will need a fleet of more than 14 787s to continue this expansion strategy.

Albinoni1967

Albinoni1967

01 Nov 2018

Total posts 32

Dear Allan Joyce, why only the USA, how about countries in Europe or even Asia, what are your new 787s only geared to fly to the USA and no where else.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

The dispute with Perth airport is claimed to be the reason for no more flights from there to Europe at this stage.

As for Asia QF has already upped capacity by sending A380s to Singapore again.

QF would go with routes that stack up the best first then move on to less popular routes.

moa999

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1376

Simply put from Brisbane the 787 is too much of a plane (in size and range) for Asia - the 332/333 or possibly even the newly launched 321XLR is a better fit.

And for Europe the 787 doesn't have the range, which is why Qantas is looking at Proj Sunrise

DanV

DanV

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 116

I suspect double daily (possibly triple on some days) on the BNE-SIN route on 321XLRs may be better suited as opposed to 1 widebody, with one of those flights ideally connecting to/from QF1/QF2.

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 399

The 787-10 is also good for Bris Asia to replace the A333s, with much the same seating. The A321XLR would be perfect for Canberra/Adelaide to Singapore et al.

AT

AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 254

As a fairly frequent Sydney base then via Brissy to Asia on QF, I wouldn’t mind booking via Brissy to USA either. But what would be great in future is single QF terminal to make transfers seamless. The bus transfer is ok at BNE but it’s still a bus transfer.

moa999

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1376

Can't see that changing - way too expensive to move the terminals.. long term BNE airport plan is for a monorail between the terminals, although id think the Heathrow style automated vehicles would be better

Austline

Austline

23 Aug 2011

Total posts 56

Mel based and having used BNE transfer from Intl to Dom and VV it's a pain, but in saying that if I am travelling to ORD it would have to be better than transferring in LAX.

MEL is without doubt the best terminal for transfers in Aust. Just wish QF would sort out their Intl J lounge it gets worse every time I use it; food average, tables grubby, at times looks like it needs a good clean.

sanj747

sanj747

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2016

Total posts 88

Absolutely agree about Melbourne being the best for transfers. Am Sydney based and did the Syd-Per onnecting onto QF9 to London which was also quite easy.

OttoV

OttoV

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 45

Well, Chris. A very interesting discussion with most of us on the same page. Can we expect an analysis from you as soon as the announcement is made? Cheers and thanks for providing the forum.

ads086

ads086

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Apr 2014

Total posts 43

Is there a possibility that Brisbane could end up scoring US pre-clearance like Shannon and Dubai have? That would be an advantage for future US flights also.

Fonga

Fonga

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 227

Would JFK be beyond the reach of the 787 from Brisbane? If not, then I'd rather do transfer at Brisbane than LAX and have all the domestic traffic funnelled through Queensland. I'm guessing though the logistics don't work and QF will wait for the Sunrise project to deliver an aircraft that can.

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 399

Chicago is at the very limit of its range. Much the same as Perth London but with less favorable winds

keyd82

keyd82

Etihad - Etihad Guest

10 Apr 2019

Total posts 4

I think they should fly direct to Mexico, This would be so good for easy access into Central America,

Anna80

Anna80

09 Mar 2015

Total posts 20

I'm really crossing my fingers for Seattle! No more LAX stopover, trudging between terminals and putting up with some fairly average lounges, and trying to get the timing right between the inbound Qantas flight and the onwards Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle. I'd much prefer to fly top Brisbane, pop over to the international terminal, enjoy the very good Qantas BNE lounge, step onto the Dreamliner and then, next stop Seattle!

worldwanderer

worldwanderer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 71

Non-stops are my preference, however in the meantime, ANY new route introduced that removes LAX as an intermediary step is a move forward.

If I have to go to BNE first to catch the flight, so be it.

PG1

PG1

17 May 2017

Total posts 6

Great thinking ads086 ..... I recently did a YVR-LAX flight and pre-cleared US customs in YVR. Got to LAX, hopped off the plane and walked out. Fantastic.

Imagine pre-clearing in Oz, arriving at LAX and being able to take some fast track lane through customs ..... heaven on a stick !!

Should be part of Project Sunrise considerations

MELflyer

MELflyer

03 Nov 2015

Total posts 10

Now that Air Canada is flying Melbourne-Vancouver this is actually my preferred way to Seattle, I don't mind a little bit of back-tracking and I'd rather transit at Vancouver than LAX any day.

OttoV

OttoV

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 45

If QF 09 and QF 10 can manage Perth and back from LHR, I would love to see a direct flight to and from Paris’ CDG using the B787. Given the developing commercial nexus with AF/KLM, it would appear a logical step and favoured by many Aussie francofiles.

Sparksy

Sparksy

09 Aug 2015

Total posts 13

Qantas is ready to do Perth-Paris, has been banging on about it for a long time, but there's a bit of a barney between Qantas and Perth Airport which is holding things up.

https://www.executivetraveller.com/qantas-pauses-perth-paris-plans-over-perth-airport-stoush

Sparksy

Sparksy

09 Aug 2015

Total posts 13

I just checked the distances and actually a Boeing 787 to Seattle wouldn't have to fly from Brisbane, it could manage it from Sydney, and as Sydney will be a Boeing 787 base once the new jets arrive from the end of this year this would work very well. MEL-LAX is 7,921 miles but SYD-SEA is only 7,800 miles. This would be even better because Sydney is by far the larger market and would mean fewer passengers having to transit at Brisbane.

worldwanderer

worldwanderer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 71

Ah yes, but a true Sydney response.

For others not living in Sydney, a BNE transfer, while not ideal, is far more palatable to many than a SYD one.

Mal

Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

Aren't they both about as painful? At least with a Qantas transfer in Sydney you can do it from T3, you don't have to leave the terminal to catch the bus.

worldwanderer

worldwanderer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 71

I don't fly as often as many on here YMMV, but I find the terminals less crowded, the lounges less crowded, more modern and cleaner and a less intense vibe.

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2333

Readers are reminded to keep their comments on topic (which is, at its core, the prospect of non-stop flights to Seattle, and by extension other non-stop routes which Qantas may launch, especially from Brisbane and/or on the Boeing 787) and to have their comments add value to this conversation. Comments which fail to tick those boxes are subject to being edited or deleted.

John Macaulay

John Macaulay

08 Oct 2014

Total posts 1

Once again from Perth better choices with Singapore. Given up on retaining Platinum- most of my flights are to US. Welcome back the direct Singapore NYC flights

Mal

Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

Not sure what has SQ and New York got to do with this, but while we're on that subject, I find the best way to go to NY is with Cathay Pacific. Happy to avoid LAX, don't have to collect and recheck my bags, great lounges at HKG and great business class all the way through. I tried the SQ flight but it was just a few hours too long for my liking. I think I get to 16 hours and that's my limit!

Austline

Austline

23 Aug 2011

Total posts 56

I live in Victoria and would much prefer to transit via Sydney; ease of airside transfers and great lounges. With arrivals BNE, immigration is crowded in the AM, the bus can be crowded and, would not even know how to use the train!

jeff2257

jeff2257

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Dec 2017

Total posts 1

Interesting the options that Qantas are looking at as I am really surprised that Qantas does not consider direct flights from Adelaide to the West Coast of the US. There is still a lot of traffic going via Melbourne & Sydney and I would have thought with the smaller B787 it would be on the cards. Unsure why Qantas continues to snub Adelaide for all international flights on its own metal!!!!

James Barker

James Barker

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 36

I doubt there's enough traffic from Adelaide to support flights to say LAX, if there was then Qantas would probably have started those flights already.

Markie Mark

Markie Mark

Etihad - Etihad Guest

28 Jun 2019

Total posts 1

QF will announce 4 additional 787’s in August.

mancho90

mancho90

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 76

With all these announcements I think QF should act immediately to have YVR in the list for all year around flights or at least a longer season than a month as it's today....I was trying to book something in January to fly 747 but the days I want most if it's business is full for YVR-SYD. Also AA should stop their pretentious actions and talk again with AK and WS for Codeshare /joint venture agreements to cover North America in better way for oneworld.

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