United Airlines looks set to retain its monopoly on flights from Sydney to San Francisco for some time, with neither Qantas or Virgin Australia eager to add Fog City to their respective network maps.
Qantas shuttered its San Fran service in May 2011 in favour of a new direct flight to Dallas/Fort Worth hub of partner American Airlines in order to funnel travellers onto the American's network for flights to the US east coast.
At the time, a Qantas spokesman told Australian Business Traveller that the popular direct Sydney-San Francisco service "has not been a failure from a route perspective, but from a strategic growth perspective for Qantas, DFW is the better plan for the future."
That decision's been borne out in the years since, with the route proving so successful that it was last year upgraded from a Boeing 747 to the airline's flagship Airbus A380 superjumbo.
VA says no to SFO
And while Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti says he's looked at the route, it's not on the radar.
"What we need to remember is that there are two types of people who go to the west coast" Borghetti told Australian Business Traveller earlier this year: "the ones that stay on the west coast and the ones that move on."
"Now the ones that move on need good connections, and there's no point in us going to San Francisco when it's a United hub and Virgin America has only a limited network out of there, you're certainly not going to hit the 200+ cities like you can out of LAX with Delta and where where we also have Virgin America."
"So Los Angeles works very well for us, particularly now that we've moved to the new Tom Bradley terminal, which is amazing."
San Fran fans and Silicon Valley-bounded travellers remain hopeful that Qantas' impending order for the Boeing 787-9 – which some expect to be announced later this year – could see a Dreamliner rostered onto the route from 2017.
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