Qantas to restart Brisbane-Los Angeles flights this week

Queenslanders can once again enjoy direct flights to the City of Angels.

By Chris Ashton, March 31 2022
Qantas to restart Brisbane-Los Angeles flights this week

Qantas will tomorrow take off on its first flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles in more than two years, re-establishing the key direct link between Queensland and the United States.

The Airbus A330 flight to Los Angeles – QF55 – will jet off from the Sunshine State capital at 10am, and then touch down in the City of Angels 13 hours later at 6:30am local time.

This means Queenslanders wishing to venture overseas on the Red Roo no longer need to head to Sydney or Melbourne on a domestic leg before joining their flight to the U.S.A.

Qantas’ A330 sports a near-identical Business Suite to the Boeing 787-9 flying from Sydney and Melbourne, although the privacy panel between the paired middle seats of the A330 is fixed in place, whereas the Dreamliner’s updated model sees this panel able to be retracted for added sociability when travelling with a partner.

Flying with a friend? The divider between the A330's paired middle seats is fixed in place.
Flying with a friend? The divider between the A330's paired middle seats is fixed in place.

However, while the Boeing 787s feature a small cabin of 28 premium economy seats, the A330s have only two classes – business and economy. With fully-flat beds and direct aisle access for every passenger in a 1-2-1 layout, the Business Suite is described as a five star sanctuary.

The return of the popular Brisbane-LAX route reaffirms the airline’s commitment to helping Australians reach the United States, restoring the east coast triangle and complementing direct services from both Sydney and Melbourne.

The Airbus A330s have essentially the same Business Suite as the Boeing 787s.
The Airbus A330s have essentially the same Business Suite as the Boeing 787s.

In yet another sign that demand for the United States is growing, Qantas doubled its Melbourne to Los Angeles flights to meet demand earlier this week, with the sought-after Airbus A380 returning to the route from December.

Brisbane is sure to play a major role in further growth for Qantas’ network within the United States, with CEO Alan Joyce previously saying the airline is still keen to explore its non-stop Brisbane to Chicago service, which was due to begin in April 2020 but placed on hold due to the pandemic.

“We think Brisbane-Chicago is still a huge opportunity,” Joyce previously told Executive Traveller, while also citing Seattle – home to fellow Oneworld member Alaska Airlines – as another possibility.

It’s worth noting that the Qantas Brisbane International Lounge remains closed at the time of writing. However, with a trans Pacific service restarting, it won’t be long until it joins its newly-reopened Sydney and Melbourne counterparts.

11 Apr 2018

Total posts 30

Well, things will never be the same I guess but this is a negative for me as do like the PE product generally as value for money . 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 463

You'll still be able to fly in PE, but would just have to do a domestic connection to SYD as the first sector.

no one from BNE wants to go anywhere via bloody awful SYD airport. 5-6 longer to LAX. Yuk.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 204

The 787s were too premium heavy for the route, even more so post covid

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 463

Every time I've flown this route, J has been full.


Probably lots of upgrades, maybe.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1209

I don't know how many changes are required.  BNE-LAX is well within the A332's nominated range for the newer deliveries into QF's fleet; the older A332s (Cityflyers) probably couldn't do it but would be unlikely anyway as the only overseas destinations these older birds go to are NZ, CGK, DPS and MNL.

I guess range could be an issue on westbound services though I would've thought some capacity restrictions would've been all that was required especially since there are lots of diversion ports in the South Pacific if something happens that means range becomes a problem on individual flights.

reeves35 - yes Fiji stop on every trip


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1425

Regular load control and higher gross weight certification will mean fewer Fiji stops as they know better in advance their load limits. The A380 dropped seats ex Dallas but seldom stopped anywhere on the any back. The A332 will do the same drop some of the the cheapest seats.

so all the air delta air, air nz, fiji airs have to do is be a few hundred dollars cheaper than Qantas & they'll grab market share ? Might not be the highest yielding seats, but have noticed that eg. Fiji air in Jan 2022 have more flights to Fiji than in Jan 2020 & also more flights Fiji/USA in 2022 than in 2022. They even have more than daily flights to Fiji out of BNE now. More frequency will more people fly them. Air NZ will soon have multiple flights ex BNE, SYD, MEL + also ADL/AKL, CNS/AKL, MCY/AKL to connect with their flights to LAX, SFO, YVR & NYC, making it more attractive to change from int to int at AKL than at eg. SYD & at lower fares. Qantas is stuck between a rock & a hard place. We've seen all the comments here about Virgins $299 business class fares SYD/MEL & BNE/SYD that seem to indicate that many who pay their own fares, with fly Virgin rather than qantas, despite their qantas status. 

26 May 2011

Total posts 19

The 330 fleet was particularly unreliable before Covid. Working the aircraft too hard didn't help but their engineering reliability was poor when they were being flown very hard. I hope they don't have the same issues when they are flying longer. 

KW72 Banned
KW72 Banned

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 238

Brisbane losing the premium 787. Perth to lose direct London flights.

That’s the price for irrational closed borders at any cost.

07 Jan 2016

Total posts 37

I guess the knock on effect of putting a330's on routes normally served by 787's, and 787's on routes normally served by a380's is that Qantas will be holding off on any new a350 purchases for Project Sunrise......

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 250

I think they have a surplus of A330s that need to be used? Guess they crunched the numbers and worth changing the config on these to make them fly to USA then to put Dreamliners which need to be used eventually to South America/USA, South Africa (if they don't make this an A330 from Perth to JNB). Could be possible they can't place the 787s at BNE caus they looking at more direct Europe routes then just London. Does this also mean BNE to Chicago ain't happening?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 250

Just realised could also mean less a330s on domestic routes - everyone else is B737!

11 Apr 2018

Total posts 30

Joyce certainly suggested WA Govt policy was involved but then Vic and NT shutdown very quickly too dont they? As for Brisbane, maybe the smaller plane can land directly at Toowoomba which you will need to visit for the first 6 months of 2022 anyway:) Of course , with AP money talks

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2555

Just to add a little bit of aviation detail here – not our core thing, so just sharing as an add-on comment – NZ-based Aviation Week regional lead Adrian Schofield (one of the industry's most knowledge as well as absolutely nicest blokes) says "to extend the range of its A330-200s, Qantas is working with Airbus to increase the maximum takeoff weight to a higher certifiable limit. The higher weight limit was not available when these aircraft entered service with Qantas." Whether this also means a restriction on passenger load sometimes, as we used to see on the return QF8 flight from DFW with row up on row of empty seats to reduce weight, remains to be seen. Also, some form of crew rest area will be added, due to the different crewing requirements of longer flights to the USA comparesd to say Asia.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 692

Interesting that no mention is made of the LAX-JFK-LAX add-on sector, which was used pre-COVID19 to amalgamate travellers from SYD and MEL to LAX who were continuing on to JFK. Culling the add-on sector? Hmm, "Sunrise" and the A350 ain't quite ready for prime time until 2024, at the earliest?

Just speculation but .... I mentioned elsewhere that there is a report that the A380's are to be based in SYD on their return. Perhaps, in the initial resumption of service. maybe QF has decided to route the A380 as SYD-LAX-JFK and return, with a timetable change for BNE which sees the BNE-LAX service arrive in LAX before the SYD-LAX A380? The A380 would then continue on to JFK with the amalgamation of BNE & MEL passengers. Would make an acceptable diversion for 12-18 months , while exposing East Coast based Americans to the full luxury of the updated A380's for the full trip ?

Bear in mind that nothing has yet been announced in regard to SYD-DFW-SYD yet. So, it is to be expected that the SYD-LAX A380 would be fairly well patronised until DFW is resumed.

20 Oct 2015

Total posts 241

Qantas is selling fewer seats for BNE-LAX and BNE-SFO, booking systems show instead of the standard J28Y243 (28 business and 243 economy) there's only J26Y208 open, so probably two flatbed business class seats set aside for crew rest and 35 economy class seats left vacant, equivalent to five rows in economy.


so 37 seats can't be sold. That sounds expensive.

Interestingly Fiji Airways has 2 x A359s which could probably do NAN/DFW, NAN/ORD or NAN/JFK nonstop & v.v. without any restriction.

Qantas still owns 46% of Fiji Airways I believe.

Wouldn't it make a lot of sense for Qantas to work in with Fiji Airways in the short term ? Changing aircraft at NAN means a very short walk.

Fiji Airways has A332s & an A333 which can do NAN/LAX & NAN/SFO.

28 Aug 2021

Total posts 1

Qantas used 747, not 787 for the LAX route. Covid 19 changed all that of course.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1027

They replaced the 747s going to North America with 787s during 2019.

At the time the international borders closed, all the US flights were A380 or 787.

The only QF 747 routes left by late 2019 were SYD to HND, SCL and JNB, with SCL already set to change to 787.

11 Apr 2018

Total posts 30

Qantas was using 787 for Brisbane LAX route before COVID ever appeared ? 

30 Oct 2021

Total posts 1

The A330 will always be the best aircraft for long haul routes. The 787 can’t even com close.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 232

Anyone noticed that the A332s are making the heroic trek between MEL and LAX?, 23 Dec 2021 and 17 & 18 Dec 2021.

I think that is astonishing.

hope passengers like Fiji. They'll almost certainly be stopping there for fuel on way home, unless there are no passengers. With the insane fares Qantas is trying to charge, might not have many economy passengers. QF $3k. Other better airlines $1-1.5K.

Good to see the Brisbane - Chicago service is still "on the radar" so long as it departs Brisbane at around 10 - 10.30 am thus giving an attractive arrival time into Chicago enabling customs & immigration clearance procedures and then onward connections to further easterly and north easterly destinations such as New York and Toronto and arriving at those destinations at a sensible time and not middle of the night or early a.m. hours.
Same with any consideration going to Seattle.  Arrive early A.M. into Seattle to enable time for sensible onward connections to easterly U.S. and/or Canadian destinations.

Kimshep, that would be nice to see the A380 do the job across to NY and return.

Like the old days when the 747 did the same trek.
Absolutely made the trek both ways across the US much more palatable.

The then American carriers version of first class was the equivalent of what we now call premium economy.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 May 2018

Total posts 67

I hope that Qantas does not do a Brisbane to Chicago run.. comments on here re it being an option to go on to New York or Toronto etc depend on the local weather and Chicago is frequently prone to severe weather (TS etc). The city itself doesn't have much as a tourist destination and is the murder capital of the US.

A much better option would be flights to Seattle.. just a short hop to the Canadian ski fields etc+ it's a major cruise port with a significant number of lines doing runs up to Alaska

maybe BNE/SEA & onto Colorado. USA skiing in much better & cheaper than Canada, despite the exchange rate. Whistler is wet being near the coast, but the rest of BC & Banff is cold, super cold, like 30 to 40 below often in winter. 40 below is same on both scales.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2018

Total posts 28

I am booked to fly BNE-LAX in late June.   The 330 gives me the opportunity to travel with my partner in window/aisle 2 seat configuration which is muchly preferable to clambering over other folks enroute .... but still hoping for a points upgrade (fingers crossed) ... ;-) .... First time in years I have booked Y but excess points must go somewhere!!!

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