United Airlines will begin direct flights between Melbourne and San Francisco in October 2019, mirroring the Star Alliance's popular Sydney-San Francisco service.
The move will pit United's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner against that of Qantas on the same route, with the United Dreamliners expected to soon be upgraded with the airline's Polaris business class seat – taking the inflight experience on the 14 hour journey from this...
... to this.
Melbourne-San Francisco flights will begin October 29, 2019 and run three days each week.
Flight UA61 will depart Melbourne at 11.40am every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, to reach San Francisco at 6.50am that same day.
On the return leg – after business class passengers have enjoyed a spell in the Polaris San Francisco lounge (below) – flight UA60 will be wheels-up at 10.50pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving into Melbourne two days later at 9.40am.
In related news, United will also extend its current seasonal 777-200ER service between Auckland and San Francisco to operate all year round as of March 30, 2019.