American’s New Los Angeles – Sydney Flight Plus New San Francisco Service

This morning American Airlines tweeted ‘Big news’ with a photo of a Kangaroo.

I guessed this meant new Australia service and surmised it would be:

  • Los Angeles – Sydney
  • In a joint venture with Qantas
  • Operated by a Boeing 777-300ER

It turns out that’s exactly what airline Chairman Doug Parker announced today in Miami, at the IATA annual meeting where his oneworld partners were in attendance.

American’s service will begin December 17, right in peak season, and will replace one of the two daily Qantas flights on the route.

The 777-300ER will replace Qantas’ Boeing 747. Qantas will then use the freed-up aircraft to begin San Francisco – Sydney service starting December 20, operating a route they haven’t flown for four years.

The joint venture between American and Qantas still requires regulatory approval, and anticipates adding additional service such as New Zealand.

Pending regulatory approvals, this expansion represents the natural evolution of the collaboration between American and Qantas, with revenue-sharing and other agreements that provide the airlines with a platform for closer commercial ties and an even more seamless customer experience on routes between North America and Australia/New Zealand. The closer and more integrated relationship also provides opportunities for future growth into trans-Pacific markets not currently served by either airline, such as New Zealand.

American flew Dallas – Honolulu – Sydney between February 1990 and February 1992 with a DC-10-30.

American also serviced Australia in the early 1970s with a Boeing 707. That service began August 1, 1970, and ended in March 1974 when American swapped their route authorities with Pan Am for additional Caribbean operations.

Here’s the route network from June 1972:

It’ll be great to see American Airlines back in Australia! It was their Oz service that netted me about 18,000 miles in the early 1990s that I sadly allowed to expire. I won’t make that mistake twice!

About Gary Leff

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. I am tentative in my excitement at the moment. If I read this correctly, capacity on LAX-SYD route is basically unchanged with added 747 service to/from SFO. So, capacity has improved between Australia and the USA, but not to the point where it’ll likely have an impact on availability of award seats.


  2. Any idea when flights will be loaded into the reservation system? not showing up now. and wow flying 1st on Qantas A380 from DFW $5K cheaper than LAX-SYD.

  3. Jeez, this is terrible. I fly this route regularly. Now I have to be super-careful to not get one of those hideous American flights. Imagine turning up to the airport to find an old AA plane, full of bad-attitude, overweight American stewardesses and stewards. I guess I could switch to Star Alliance. Oh no, it’s only that hideous UA. Maybe Skyteam. Oh no, bloody DL. So be warned fellow Aussies, to avoid the awful, old and crappy US based airlines check your flight operator carefully. You still have QF, TZ, VA. Of course there are great options with the fine service and new aircraft if you go via Asia like SQ, CX, TG, CA, CZ, even VN would be preferable to the crap dished out by those bloody Yank’s

  4. Hey Robbo – newsflash – QF ain’t all that great. And good luck finding a premium award seat.

  5. Robbo: You make some valid pts. but,… Qantas is an extremely poorly run airline that is barely profitable (or does it lose money?). American and Delta had record profits last quarter and are expected to have record profits for the full year. Qantas needs to restructure further. Australian labor is GROSSLY overpriced. Maybe Qantas should replace their flt crews with cheap Asian labor! Good day mate!

    Also, Robbo. The 777-300 AA is putting on this route is brand new. I believe AA will soon have one of the youngest fleets in the industry. They have ordered a lot of new planes to replace ageing ones.

  6. Yes, the quality of Mark’s trolling has fallen off a bit lately. I’m not sure why, but, whatever the reason, it sure is disappointing. I feel like a fan watching his favorite slugger endure a slump at the plate. Painful, really.

  7. Gee, a picture of a kangaroo from AA and you were able to predict that? You’re brilliant. Anyone could have surmised a new route from AA connecting Australia’s largest city with AA’s largest West Coast hub on its newest aircraft. Way to go out on a limb.

    Where’s your prediction about QF moving one of their planes to SFO? I’d be slightly more impressed if you called that.

  8. I dont see this a an improvement in award seats. its just a replacement of a Quantas flight for an American with a smaller capacity. either way, no net gain.

  9. I happen to agree with Robbo, I made that same mistake booking Virgin Australia and ending up on Delta (economy). Easily my worst long haul flight ever. The return on VA felt like first class in comparison.

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