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Today American Airlines and Qantas had been teasing a big #greatmates announcement which many (correctly) guessed meant that American Airlines would begin operating service from Los Angeles to Sydney on their own aircraft.
I just got done watching the press conference with the CEOs of both AA and Qantas online (well at least when it was working), and indeed AA will begin operating flights from Los Angeles to Syndey on December 17th via a code-share with Qantas using a 777-300ER with lie-flat seats in first and business class! This will replace four Qantas’ B747 Sydney to Los Angeles services per week and one Qantas B747 Melbourne to Los Angeles service per week.
However, that wasn’t the only announcement from the press conference. Qantas also will begin operating a new flight between Sydney and San Francisco on December 20th using a 747-400! This service will ramp up to six flights per week in January 2016 using Boeing 747-400 aircraft with the same style interiors found on the airline’s A380s.
This is great for many reasons, but also because more flights means more potential awards between the United States and Australia, an area where OneWorld has been notoriously stingy. I would have loved to use some of my American Airlines miles for our trip next year to Australia and New Zealand, but unless we flew coach it simply wasn’t going to happen for multiple seats. Though I will be keeping an eye on availability in case I can switch to OneWorld! My fingers are crossed that this will help award availability at least a little. If you aren’t familiar, know that American charges 37,500 miles each way in economy, 62,500 miles each way in business class, and 72,500 miles each way in first class from the US to Australia.
During the press conference, the CEOs also referenced potential future service from the United States to New Zealand multiple times, so hopefully that will come to fruition at some point.