Aviation watchdog JonNYC points out that Qantas is no longer the biggest airline between the U.S. and Australia. That title now goes to United Airlines.
Someone sends – I haven’t fact-checked at all pic.twitter.com/3UdPDowRKc
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) December 1, 2023
The Australian Financial Review writes that United Airlines service to Australia is up 50% year-over-year. And it’s not just offering more flights, it’s flying larger planes to Melbourne than before.
When we thought about building up our capacity and our international plans in Australia and other parts of the world over the last few years, you just had a very big shift in some of the industry dynamics because you’ve had different changes in how capacity looked pre-pandemic versus how it looks today,” Matt Stevens, United’s vice president of global network planning, told AFR Weekend.
According to data from Cirium Diio, United has 49% of the non-stop flights on all airlines between the U.S. and Australia this month.
- They operate 462 flights per month total from the U.S. to Australia and back, compared to just 316 for Qantas, 107 for Delta, and 62 for American.
- American and Qantas are part of a revenue-sharing joint venture, of course, and operate a combined 378 flights to United’s 462. So United is larger even than the combined American-Qantas partnership, which the Department of Transportation delayed for years out of concerns that it would effectively operate as a monopoly between the two countries.
- United’s service is still 10% bigger if you add in the 36 total flights each month between New York JFK and Auckland that Qantas operates (this is one-stop, same-plane service between New York and Sydney).
Here are United’s routes to Australia – flying from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane and from Houston to Sydney.
United gets domestic feed from Virgin Australia, which controls about one-third of Australia’s domestic flying compared two Qantas which controls two-thirds. Traditionally Australia has been a strong market for U.S. flying in winter and weak over the summer but post-Covid, summer flying has been strong as well. United Airlines says that people are intentionally booking away from Qantas, choosing them instead.