Today, as you’ve probably heard by now, American and Qantas announced new services to and from the United States to and from Australia.
CEO Doug Parker of American Airlines and CEO Alan Joyce of Qantas met in a press conference to announce the new routes, and I wanted to summarize the major takeaways after listening in.
American to Begin New Los Angeles to Sydney Route
- The route will begin December 17.
- The route will be operated daily by a 777-300 ER aircraft in a three class cabin.
- The route will feature international wifi onboard.
- Qantas will keep their 747 second-daily operated flight on this route, but it will be reduced to 3x a week. So, LAX will now have a daily Qantas A380, a daily American 777 and a 3x weekly Qantas 747.
- It will be interesting to see if this flight is operated out of the American terminal, or the Tom Bradley International Terminal where one will have access to the oneworld Business Class lounge and Qantas First lounges.
- With the addition of this route, the LAX-SYD market is growing 9%.
Qantas to Begin New Sydney to San Fransisco Route
- The route is scheduled to commence at the latter half of 2015, pending regulatory approval. Remember, this is peak season. The target date is December 20, but that date could change, of course.
- The route will operate six times a week on a 747, three class aircraft (Economy, Premium Economy, Business).
New Services to New Zealand
- It looks as if American and Qantas are actively looking at options for non-stop flights to New Zealand. My guess is we’ll soon see a Los Angeles to Auckland nonstop flight operated by American.
What will award availability be like?
This is probably the hot topic question of the day, so I wanted to chime in with my thoughts:
- With the addition of a SYD-SFO Qantas operated flight, I think you’ll find a few more award seats across the board, but not many.
- I think the new LAX-SYD American operated flight will have limited award seat availability. Theoretically with the addition of this flight, you’ll have more seats to fill, but it also means filling the seats with the demand that was already there. Sure, the pressure will be eased slightly, but I don’t think it’s any noticeable or worthwhile significance, with the added Qantas flight to SFO.
- I think the new LAX-SYD America operated flight will probably have one of the toughest systemwide upgrade availabilities in the system, even worse than the now running Dallas to Hong Kong flight.
This is fantastic news, in my opinion, and not only am I glad American is adding in a service to Sydney, but that also Qantas is adding another service to the US, since I love their product. I’m especially looking forward to potential nonstop service to New Zealand, too. All in all, while this may not be the greatest news in terms of award availability (it probably won’t increase), it’s certainly a welcome addition for scheduling and service.
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