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!