Qantas Sydney-San Francisco flights to go daily

By David Flynn, April 20 2016
Qantas Sydney-San Francisco flights to go daily

Qantas will boost its Sydney-San Francisco flights to a daily schedule over the December-January period, making it that little bit easier for business travellers as well as holiday-makers to map out their itinerary.

The San Francisco Boeing 747 service, which Qantas resurrected in December 2015 after axing the route in May 2011, currently skips Tuesdays to run only six days a week but has enjoyed strong patronage, a spokesperson for the airline said.

"To meet demand over the busy Christmas holiday period, Qantas will operate daily between SYD and SFO from 12th December 2016 to 26th January 2017."

Over the same period, the daily Sydney-Los Angeles QF 11/12 service will be upgraded to an Airbus A380 every day, compared to the current schedule which sees a Boeing 747 operating on the route one day each week.

Also read: Best airport lounges for Qantas passengers in San Francisco

PREVIOUS | Qantas has opened bookings on the Sydney-San Francisco route, with first flights from 18 December 2015.

The outbound flight QF73 departs Sydney at 3pm to reach San Francisco at 9.30am that same day.

The QF74 return leg is wheels-up from Fog City at 11.25pm for a Sydney touchdown at 9am two days later.

For the first weeks the Boeing 747 flights will run only on selected 'peak days', Qantas says, but in late January 2016 they'll tick over to six days a week, with Saturday being the jumbo jet's only day off.

PREVIOUS | Qantas will restart flights between Sydney and San Francisco from December 18, over four years since it shuttered the route in May 2011.

The move brings fresh competition to United Airlines, which is currently the only carrier offering direct flights between the two cities.

Australian business travellers headed to Silicon Valley, that sprawling south-of-SF home to dotcoms and startups alike, have previously had to fly with United or jet into LAX and catch a connecting flight.

Qantas will run six flights a week between Sydney and San Francisco on its Boeing 747, with 58 fully-flat Skybed II business class seats, 36 premium economy seats and 270 in economy.

The airine is expected to bring back the route's previously-used flight numbers of QF73 and QF74, with a 3pm departure from Sydney and 9.30am arrival into San Francisco.

"San Francisco is now the most popular onward destination for Qantas’ customers travelling to the US and we’re thrilled to be going back" said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

"We know there is a strong demand for direct flights, particularly from our corporate clients who will save about four hours each way by not having to connect through LAX."

In related news, Qantas partner American Airlines will also begin daily flights between Los Angeles and Sydney from December 17.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1387

Great news

NZ Elite

03 Jul 2014

Total posts 108

Excellent news, San Fran is a great city. Though to be pedantic...

"have previously had to fly with United or jet into LAX and catch a connecting flight"

The other option was via AKL on NZ who also fly to SFO.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jul 2014

Total posts 58

. . . . which arguably represents the most comfortable option to SFO from Australian cities other than Sydney, in premium cabins at least.

Here's hoping this increase in capacity ex-SYD will improve the competitiveness of AirNZ J fares to SFO . . .

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2014

Total posts 102

They have been pretty competative every time i have had to use them. Usually able to fly over for 5500-6000. 

We've always taken Air NZ to SFO every year for the last 6 years, and found them to be competitively priced for Prem Econ from BNE to SFO.  I also like their spaceseats in the 773.  But in the last few years we found it very difficult to find a good deal with Air NZ.  We really hate connecting through LAX, I'd much rather do it at this end, so from now onon we will be taking Qantas via SYD to SFO.   I hope that one day Qantas will fly direct BNE to SFO. 

Awesome job Qantas for resurrecting this service!  You've got us back.

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

yeh buy who wants to fly anywhere via fricking awful SYD !!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 388

They will also have better 747 fleet utilisation with reducing the 747 MEL - LAX from 3 to 2 per week but then operating a 6 day a week SFO service in return

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 388

And even also they are reducing the 747 SYD - LAX QF17/18 service to 3 a week overall services will be up from 44 too 52 a week. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 388

That's including the ANA service so it's only 45 but still an improvement. Now AJ order those 787!!

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 309

HA... You and your B787's

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 388

What are you trying to say?

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 309

Light hearted comment Christopher... That's all

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 388

oh yes,  I remember. A with this extra fleet utilisation and the reduction of 747 Mekbiurne and Sydney flights  to LAX do you see Qantas able retire any more 747s? Do you reckon they've changed their mind on getting to 9 by mid next year? They were planning to retire 1 747 from the 1HFY15 results in the second half of this financial year, but how?

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1251

I suspect the non-refurbished 747's will fly until they each are due for major maintenance. When those checks are due, they will fly to the desert.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 967

Only way they can reduce current 747 flying to retire aircraft would be the 747 HKG and TYO flights going to A330 (or pulling out of routes)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

I think this route will force the hand for a decision (announcement) on the dreamliners. It's clearly a business sector with demand for a premium service, not a tired old 747.

They mention the onward connections to SFO. I wonder what percentage of the 12 first suites connect onwards on the LAX A380 service?

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

great news but why announce it only 6 months out ?

Many 1000's of people are already booked for Xmas school holidays & the 4 x SYD/LAX flights per week & the 1 x MEL/LAX flight per week that are being cancelled to free up an aircraft for SYD/SFO will cause disruption to many people.

Suspect people ex SYD will be put on American Airlines or offered the other SYD/LAX Qantas flight. People ex MEL will now probably be shunted via SYD or BNE.

 

 

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

I suspect the recent A380 out of action really forced the issue of QF's aircraft availability and they accelerated the discussions to get help from a partner with their routes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2015

Total posts 55

This is great!

First SYD - YVR

Then SYD - HND and BNE - NRT

Then PER - SIN

Now SYD - SFO!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 593

Why no new routes from MEL?  I find it hard to believe that the demand isn't there.  Transfering from domestic to international and vice versa in Sydney is a no-no due to the rediculous amount of time required.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

I know right!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

One good alternative would be to have flights departing the Intl. terminal in MEL which are timed well enough so passengers who are continuing onwards to the United States can have a smooth transfer. I won't complain if they did that.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 593

so like if QF had a dedicated international service to connect to any international flight out of sydney.  Even if just a couple of 738s a day. But that won't happen.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 125

I remember flying SYD-MEL on a Jetstar A330 which left from the international terminal at SYD.  I believe it was a tag onto an Asian flight, although I can't remember if it had arrived from overseas into SYD or was continuing on from MEL.  At check-in at SYD I was given a sticker on my boarding pass that let me bypass customs/immigration at the international terminal.

Perhaps they could come up with something similar at MEL.  Fly MEL-SYD using the international terminals at both ends with some method to allow domestic passengers on that leg.  Time it so it connects to the major international flight bank out of SYD.  Maybe even fly an international-config A330 on MEL-SYD-MNL/HKG/etc. to allow a nearly seamless connection to a destination QF doesn't currently serve from MEL.

 

at MEL and SYD with some method for allowing domestic passengers on the MEL-SYD leg.  It could be timed to connect to the big international

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 125

Sorry, seem to have doubled up my text there while editing.  Is there some way to erase those last three lines?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

And PER-AKL

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2015

Total posts 55

True, although PER - AKL has been around for a bit

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Sep 2013

Total posts 177

I doubt I would consider 1 B737 per day PER-SIN  6 days per week great, compared to what's being offered by others.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2015

Total posts 55

Better than nothing 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 593

QF's lack of frequency is why I chose SQ for europe trips and have stuck with SQ ever since

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 May 2015

Total posts 8

At last. Just hope enough seats will be filled to keep the service going. This was always my preferred city en route to the east coast (and also as a great city to stop to visit) because I usually had 2-3 seats to myself both ways. Here's hoping this service is sustainable.

YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

10 Jun 2015

Total posts 9

Can anyone read between the lines from AJ's comments - about possibly re-opening up the old AKL-LAX routes? Yes I know QF don't have enough planes to service that sector, so would that mean AA would service that route and give NZ a run for their money? I sure hope that route gets re-started and better srill using QF metal as AA or any USA carriers arent as popular as QF - if given a choice between the 2 carriers!

Also I bet EK are itching with envy with not being able to get in on this side of the Pacific!

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 967

AA 789 LAX or DFW-AKL-MEL?

10 Jun 2015

Total posts 9

yes - thank you! I forgot about the DFW-AKL possiblility. In fact I think that sector would be a better business option than LAX-AKL since DFW is a major AA hub. That makes more sense when one sonsiders NZ plans to start their Houston-AKL soon!

Which means LAX-AKL on QF metal would be a distance possibility then???

Excellent news! Clearly the route is quite profitable if a fuel-inefficient 747 can run it 6 days per week.

The product is dated, but the 747s are first in line to be replaced by Dreamliners so the product will get updated reasonably quickly (and I am sure it will become a daily service when Dreamliners are on the route, perhaps with additional services to SFO launching from MEL certainly and perhaps BNE?). And let us be honest, Qantas Business vs. United Business generally leans towards Qantas (since the food/booze/service are better, and I don't think United's beds are better than Q's). Premium Economy is also better on Qantas (compared to United's Main Cabin Extra) and I think Q's Economy is a bit better as well.

The fact that Qantas are adding more routes shows that things really are looking up for them.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 967

QF73/74 was profitable when it was canned in 2011. The route was transfered to DFW because they thought DFW would be more profitable then SFO.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

Brilliant news!!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2014

Total posts 102

This is great news... Although have been favouring air NZ and gaining staus on virgin. Hopefully I can get a one world status match! Don't much favour starting at the bottom again. 

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Me too! I gave up flying QF when they pulled out of SFO last time and switched to NZ for this route and VA in general. 

Damned if I'm gonna start from the bottom and earn QF status though.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 22

Me three!! ugh..completely let OneWorld go and am Gold Elite with Air NZ..hmm..wonder if Qantas will invest in a decent lounge for SFO!

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 229

Qantas should absolutely do a status match for former customers who really had no choice but to fly United or Air NZ once SFO was ditched for DFW. Qantas needs to pick and stick with San Francisco. The airline has a long and impressive history with the Bay area, it is a super important city in the new economy for Australia, a great holiday destination, and has one of the best airports in the US. Deserves Qantas investing its best product. Should be the first port for a 787-9.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

It's all UA's fault for delivering a despicable product across the Pacific now they got QF on their back.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jun 2015

Total posts 4

Good move Qantas would prefer to fly into SFO any day over LAX.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

This is for good

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 22

This is great to hear (albeit after I've let my Qantas FF slip to silver due to flying Air NZ on this route 4-5x per year)

That being said it's disappointing that it won't be the A380 and there won't be an 'F class' option..LAX is still winning on both fronts there.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

well to say the least there is still the DFW option

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2014

Total posts 146

QF'S VH-OEF flew their last SYD-SFO ,  its still in service today. Maybe is could be the first plane operated on the route as a re-welcome?

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

Great news.  Pity it's not on a 789.

 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2014

Total posts 102

Wow. Kind of expensive looking at random dates when i would need to travel next year. Approaching 10k return.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 744

Only $2200 return when I checked...

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2014

Total posts 102

That price was buisness. 

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 273

What does the plane do in San Fran for 14 hours?

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 273

What does the plane do in San Fran for 14 hours?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jun 2015

Total posts 107

cleaning and refueling 

Also since it's one flight the same crew would likely be used so a minimum rest period might be required or alternatively they would need to get crew to fly in from Lax to take over but that would leave a crew in sfo waiting for another aircraft or require them to be transferred somewhere 

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 273

Wow surely not the same crew there and back!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2015

Total posts 593

why not...14hrs is a decent amount of time for stopover

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 273

It would really only be about 10 hrs by the time you entered the country rested then got back to the airport on time?

20 Nov 2015

Total posts 1

What happens re the qantas platinum lounge access in SFO? Does this mean we will need to use AA?

SilkAir - KrisFlyer

15 Jul 2015

Total posts 10

Been trying to book this new route via qantas. Be warned of the sting in the pricing - especially if it is SFO-SYD-SFO expect over $3500 economy. Didn't want to stomach looking at Premium economy. Perhaps too early to fly the Ted kangaroo again...

SilkAir - KrisFlyer

15 Jul 2015

Total posts 10

Been trying to book this new route via qantas. Be warned of the sting in the pricing - especially if it is SFO-SYD-SFO expect over $3500 economy. Didn't want to stomach looking at Premium economy. Perhaps too early to fly the Ted kangaroo again...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Sep 2014

Total posts 19

Wait, so the aircraft spends like 14 hours on the ground at SFO???

Correct.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Sep 2014

Total posts 19

WOW!! That is surprising! And Alan joyce is always talking about how Qantas has been using fleet utilisation to keep aircraft in the air and not on the ground to cut costs

Qantas does maintenance on the aircraft while they're on the ground in LAX – they could also do this at SFO or position the aircraft to LAX for maintenance before returning to SFO to operate the evening flight.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Hopefully this daily service turns into a permanent one!

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

I strongly suspect it will go to daily yr-round after 789 starts to join QF fleet fm nex yr.  Strong corp traffic demand as stated in the story is 1 of the motive to improve frequency as a priority above say, gauge capacity(i.e.vs larger 744 @ fewer frequency).

Across QF Int'l network, long Trans-Pcf missions such as SYD-SFO will be where QF can realize the maximum savings in fuel burn 789 vs 744 even in a low oil price environment.


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