Qantas: more new international routes to come

Could flights to fresh destinations in US and Europe be on the way?

By David Flynn, November 21 2023
Qantas: more new international routes to come

Qantas is preparing a renewed push into Europe, the USA and Asia as more jets join the red-tailed fleet.

With the launch of direct flights to Paris from mid-2024, along with a return to Rome from June to October 2024, the airline is crunching the numbers on additional ‘city pairs’ between Australia and international destinations.

“We always have five or six different city pairs under what we call ‘deep observation’ – looking at passenger flows (and) looking at yields,” Qantas International CEO Cam Wallace shared during a panel discussion at South x Southwest Sydney last month on Qantas’ non-stop Project Sunrise flights.

It’s likely that perennial favourites Chicago and Seattle are on Wallace’s radar, as he confirmed “we’ve been looking at markets in the States.”

“We've got a good business in the States because it diversifies – we’ve got JFK, we've got LA and we have San Francisco – but we can look at other places in the States.”

The lure of the Windy City

As it happens, Qantas had already locked in Brisbane-Chicago flights for April 2020 before they became an early casualty of the Covid pandemic – but as the only non-stop flight between Australia and The Windy City, this would provide  a valuable ‘monopoly route' for Qantas.

In addition to being the USA's third-largest city and an attractive destination in its own right, Chicago also serves as a gateway to the mid-West and a hub for American Airlines.

Chicago and Seattle would be top options for additional Qantas flights to the US.
Chicago and Seattle would be top options for additional Qantas flights to the US.

Seattle remains another stateside possibility for the Boeing 787, with direct flights almost the same distance as Qantas’ current trans-Pacific trek between Sydney and Vancouver.

Seattle’s long-standing appeal spans from being the home of US high-tech titans to a hub for Arctic and Alaskan cruises, not to mention the natural outdoor attractions of the Pacific Northwest.

An added incentive for Qantas could also be that Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is now a member of the Oneworld alliance, so Sydney-Seattle flights could also enjoy a solid serve of inbound tourism through the partnership.

More flights from Perth into Europe?

Europe could also see another city added to the trio of London, Paris and Rome, with Wallace stating “we see pockets of opportunities in the next six to nine months.” 

“Ultimately we want to grow our business, we want to grow our long haul market. We've got a tremendous number of new aircraft coming on board,” Wallace noted, also citing the single-aisle Airbus A220 and A321XLR jets as game-changers for Qantas’ international capabilities.

“The A321XLR opens up massive opportunities in Asia, as does the A220, which has tremendous range.” 

Qantas' range maps for the Airbus A220 and A321XLR.
Qantas' range maps for the Airbus A220 and A321XLR.

Qantas sees both aircraft as being able to tackle not just domestic but also short-range international routes.

Wallace cited both aircraft’s “cost per available seat kilometre (profile), which means that you can fly an aircraft further, the costs are lower, so therefore you can provide customers a better and more attractive airfare.”

This was the key to “a lower cost base so we can open up to markets that historically the aircraft weren't efficient enough for us to connect cities and towns... so we've got really exciting opportunities (ahead).”

26 Sep 2023

Total posts 8

Fun fact on Qantas to Chicago, every time they have tried to launch it is has preceded an unprecedented aviation downturn. They first announced it as a tag on MEL-LAX shortly before 9/11. Then the BNE-ORD route from before Covid. Third time's the charm I guess.

Bet ya this time its Sydney to Chicago and Brisbane misses out again

Qantas still struggling to work out their network meanwhile QR,EK,SQ and even EH are there delivering millions of passengers to these destinations from Australia. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 May 2018

Total posts 69

Sydney to Vancouver when??? go to their  web site and try and find one. I would love a direct one in August 2024... Just doesn't exist. Chicago used to be a great city but now (murders to date of 532 - source Chicago Sun Times) including killings in the main tourist area - the loop. It's right down my list of cities to visit again. Seattle is also a miss - friends have advised me it's not the friendly city anymore, high crime etc.

Qantas..just stick to LA/San Fran and Dallas and then concentrate more on Asia and Europe..that's where you will find Aussie tourists.


25 Aug 2022

Total posts 3

Hi Racala - I'm a travel agent and can see/book in my system the Qantas flights direct Sydney/Vancouver in Aug 2024.  Maybe check with your travel agent?? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 May 2018

Total posts 69

Hi SKt

Just had another look.. fri 2 August.. just a pile of via xxx flights.. my plan was to fly there direct.. do a cruise to Alaska then to ???.  How many flights week  do the run???

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Oct 2019

Total posts 22

Mate its not difficult, QF75 is Sydney-YVR and has been running since before Covid. It just doesn't run every day of the week.

08 Nov 2022

Total posts 4

Restarting the Frankfurt route should be next in Europe. It's a huge hub and would make the most sense. 

Other option would be Madrid maybe? Oneworld connectivity would be an advantage here. 

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 154

Load factors on QF5/6 to Frankfurt were very high right through to the end.  It's a high yield, business-heavy destination and a far easier connection than LHR.

It's strange to be starting routes with little track record, when they had a decades-long presence in Frankfurt until only recently, and now they've got the aircraft that can run it profitably, non-stop from Australia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 May 2018

Total posts 69

Hi Rufus

Yep the planes when I did Frankfurt/Singapore 4 times were full each time (Boeing 747), plus once Singapore/Frankfurt and that was full too... the major benefit if you were traveling on wards was the rail station was just down the escalator, with  many destinations. Mind U once upon a time you could set your watch to the German rail system.. not any more.

08 Feb 2018

Total posts 159

They’ll need more planes first….

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 May 2019

Total posts 4

I second this.

There's no point in having routes if you don't have aircraft.  At the moment, having an A380 go tech in LA has a flow on effect in London 3 days later.  It wasn't very forward thinking of them to get rid of the two A380s they had.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

04 Mar 2018

Total posts 28

I have no idea why they scrapped the 2 by A380's. I think they will regret that move. Especially with long haul busy routes like USA and LHR. However I guess if you are intelligent enough to earn $24 Million per year, you are smarter than me.

Now that Jetstar fly Brisbane to Tokyo, just remove the 3x weekly Qantas service and youll be good. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 143

I’d really hope that the A321 will be fit with lay-flat J for the flights to/from Asian destinations. Something tells me they will not be, though. 

22 May 2011

Total posts 89

Please don’t put flights into Asia on single aisle aircraft.  Eg CNS-HND - who wants to pick that one stop narrow body flight versus a nonstop wide body flight on a Japanese carrier.  Please don’t join virgin in this.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1024

I'd be expecting JQ to do just that when they get the A321XLRs (then hand the 787-8s over to QF for AU-Asia routes)

Jetstar have already announced that they are refitting their 787s in a few years time.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 321

Considering the QF Group/JQ's announcement of refurbing their 788s with a J recliner heavy cabin with a Y cabin with the IFE removed (replaced with Wireless BYO), it's safe to say that the 788s won't be going to QF anytime soon.


09 May 2020

Total posts 568

Let's hope they are going to wet lease more FInnair products for this (to free up QF metal and staff for these new routes). Frankly sick of QF service and delays, welcome the fresh feel of Finnair brand. 

But this will mean the Ua-Ru war have to continue for some time for FInnair to allow this (so that's obviously bad - since the war is needless as well as being the main excuse why world inflation is up amongst other things)

03 Mar 2023

Total posts 14

Yeah I fly Finnair quite a bit to Europe (well before Covid) and always prefer them over Qantas.

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Aug 2018

Total posts 107

I think that there are many Australians who would like to fly to Rome beyond the June to November time slot. Why in Heavens would you discontinue the splendid Melbourne to London ( via Perth) direct route; domestic to Perth on a B 737 simply does not cut it mate.


30 Apr 2013

Total posts 13

MEL BKK would be nice

Still nothing from Adelaide........

Oh well, Virgin, Qatar & Singapore it is then...

03 May 2021

Total posts 47

It’s disappointing. Qantas should at least be running a Singapore-Adelaide flight

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Oct 2012

Total posts 44

I and alot of travellers would be happy if they just re-instated flights to Melbourne that they cut with the Sydney lenses on.  MEL to LHR on an A380 service; MEL to BKK instead of the Jetstar offering. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 373

Really, but I love the MEL-SIN leg on a 20 year old A330 with no inbuilt seatback screen.... How it got to this is just appalling.

11 Mar 2021

Total posts 2

Surely Melbourne-Athens from May-September would be a no-brainer?

Wouldn’t that be a very low yield VFR/tourist route. Competing with Scoot. Athens is well served by Emirates. I can’t see QF making money on that route. Maybe Jetstar via Bangkok.

Love to see them launch Brisbane to India. We have a growing and emerging Indian Community out here. I think they would benefit greatly from such a service provided. It would also boost our Tourism industry, with Planeloads of Indian Tourists contributing to the Local Tourism Industries.

03 Mar 2023

Total posts 14

Apparently Brisbane - Delhi is a large unserved market.  Qantas should jump on it before Air India does.

How about something sexy like Brisbane/Las Vegas/Miami….would be packed

apparently fiji air looking at NAN/DFW now their fleet of A350s has recently doubled. Think QF should look at BNE/DFW with DFW being a mega hub for AA.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 464

Sydney to Vancouver has been around forever like 70 years close to it actually as of next year but it only became a nonstop thanks to the 747-400er and now the 787 so totally not new if one includes the days it was the OLD qf3 to Honolulu where one changed to the then QF25 that came from either Brisbane or Cairns stopped in HNL and then to Canada or if one included the now defunct Canadian Airlines codeshares then QF3 WHEN Qantas and Canadian later Air Canada started their own services in their own right again.My knowledge of these services was from 1984 when Cairns opened up internationally to the present day.

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