There’ll be a new way to get to Queensland for their Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle, as Qantas will be launching a new direct flight route covering Brisbane-Chicago, which would become the fourth longest passenger flight route in the world, and Qantas’ second longest, following their Perth-London direct flight route.
Running four times every week, the 14,326km trip will take about 17 hours, and will be launched alongside a Brisbane-San Francisco direct flight route, which runs three times a week.
Passengers heading for Chicago will be saving on more than six hours of travelling on a return trips compared to the current route of travelling via Los Angeles, with Brisbane-Chicago being the first and only non-stop route covering the Windy City and Australia.
Qantas hopes that this direct route, much like the Perth-London Boeing 787 flights, will encourage Aussie travelers to head for Brisbane, maybe enjoy a bit of the local tourism like a Cairns to Port Douglas shuttle, then embark on the long trip across the Pacific.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce spoke at a media event in Brisbane on the development, saying that these new services are aimed at connecting Aussie business travellers and holidaymakers with key central cities in the United States.
Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaf says that relative to the market size and levels of demand, Queensland has been under-served from the US, and Qantas’ offerings will do much to addressing that market.
Qantas has previously stated that they’ll be working on running non-stop flights from Aussie cities as part of their joint initiative with American Airlines, which received approval from the US Department of Transportation earlier in June.
The new trans-Pacific routes from Beijing will be taken via a Boeing 787, though there are no details yet as to which ones Qantas will be using, especially taking into account the fact that the airline is expecting a second batch of six new Dreamliners either in 2019 or 2020.
Chicago is a key market, representing a near-monopoly for Qantas, with only Air New Zealand to compete in the region with their Auckland-Chicago flights, launched in December 2018.