Qantas Planning For Flights To Seattle And Chicago

In an investor presentation, Qantas has shared that they’re looking at service from Australia to both Seattle and Chicago – as well as Paris.

A year and a half ago Qantas was talking up Chicago and Seattle so this isn’t entirely new.

Indeed, Chicago – Brisbane was announced in 2019 but didn’t happen due to the pandemic. Air New Zealand flies Auckland to Chicago.

Sydney – Chicago was on the radar in 2015 when Qantas and American announced their more tightly-integrated joint venture. However Brisbane – Chicago is a shorter flight. Expect the ‘Project Sunrise‘ ultra-long range Airbus A350 to be needed for a Sydney – Chicago flight, while they can pull of their longest U.S. flight with a Boeing 787-9.

American can provide some connectivity in Chicago. Alaska Airlines has been a been a Qantas partner for years but is now a member of oneworld as well, and can provide Seattle feed, though the local market seems limited and the regional market not well-served from San Francisco as well (and Air Canada flies from Vancouver).

Meanwhile, Paris is an obvious non-stop destination once Qantas receives their ordered aircraft which can make it non-stop from Australia’s East Coast.

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. UA is larger in ORD compared to AA and could really squeeze Qantas if they decided to launch competing service.

  2. @Daniel UA would have a hard time with SYD-ORD. The 787-9 would struggle to make it and even if they had a gross weight upgrade, there just isn’t room for any more fuel.

  3. No, I think United would be most likely to launch BNE-ORD. They have been quite focused on Brisbane lately and already have SFO – BNE, which will soon be daily and they will also be launching BNE – LAX soon, so I think United have got their eyes on Brisbane

  4. I think United have seen that Brisbane lacks flights and has being overlooked by Qantas, as well as being a hub for United’s partner, Virgin Australia, so I think they can see heaps of potential through Brisbane airport and a lack of competition

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