Qantas Proposes Two New US-Australia Routes — Here’s What Needs to Happen First

Jun 4, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On Monday morning, the US Department of Transportation announced a tentative approval of a joint venture partnership between American Airlines and Qantas. Now, Qantas and American Airlines have issued a joint press release on the matter.

In celebration of the news, Qantas announced two new (hopeful) routes to the US. In order to entice US regulators toward final approval of the joint venture, Qantas and American Airlines co-announced that “once final approval is received,” the following US–Australia routes would be launched within the first 2 years:

  • Chicago (ORD) to Brisbane (BNE)
  • San Francisco (SFO) to Brisbane (BNE)

Qantas service to Chicago has only been discussed as part of Project Sunrise. That’s Qantas’ ambitious project to launch ultra long-haul flights between eastern Australia and far-flung destinations such as New York, London, Rio de Janeiro and Paris. The only thing that’s missing is a plane that can fly that far, but both Airbus and Boeing are working on producing an aircraft that could fit Qantas’ needs.

Related: The Best Credit Cards for Airport Lounge Access

At 8,901 miles, Brisbane to Chicago would be a very long flight — but not Qantas’ longest flight. That record is currently held by Qantas’ flight from Perth, Australia (PER) to London’s Heathrow (LHR). At just over 9,000 direct flight miles, the Perth-London route currently ranks as the world’s third-longest commercial airline route.

Brisbane-Chicago would be the fourth-longest flight in the world behind Singapore (Airbus A350-900ULR) from Singapore to Newark, Qatar (Boeing 777-200LR) from Doha to Auckland and Qantas’ Perth-London route. Meanwhile, Brisbane (BNE) to San Francisco (SFO) is significantly shorter at 7,063 direct flight miles.

Business class board Qantas' 787-9. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)
Business class board Qantas’ 787-9. (Photo by JT Genter / The Points Guy)

The tentative announcement of these routes doesn’t state which aircraft would be utilized. However, based on Qantas’ current long-haul fleet — and scheduled retirement of the Boeing 747-400 from US routes — it’s likely that at least the Chicago route would utilize the airline’s Boeing 787-9. TPG has reviewed Qantas’ 787-9 in all three cabins:

Even if you don’t intend to fly either of the new routes, American Airlines loyalists have plenty to root for. The two airlines have stated that the joint business would enable a deeper integration of each carrier’s frequent flyer program, “including higher earn rates for points on each other’s networks beyond what is possible today through oneworld, as well as increased redemption opportunities and improved reciprocal end-to-end recognition of our top-tier frequent flyers.”

That’s in addition to an expanded codeshare relationship and optimized schedules on transpacific services, which promises more connections to more destinations and reduced total travel time. Plus, Qantas and AA members would get improved access to seats on each carrier’s network, as well as “investments in lounges, baggage systems and other infrastructure designed to better serve the carriers’ joint customers.”

RELATED VIDEO:

Featured image on Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 courtesy of the airline.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.