Australian flag carrier Qantas is considering new ultra-long-haul destinations in the US and Europe for its next phase of growth. While there has been no confirmation on when these routes might start, the airline’s renewed interest in growing its long-haul network could mean more such routes could be announced in the near future.
Seattle, Chicago and Paris under consideration
In a recent investor presentation, Qantas identified potential new destinations for point-to-point travel from Australia. The airline is open to exploring nonstop services to Seattle and Chicago in the US and Paris in Europe.
Qantas already flies non-stop to the US West Coast and also to London Heathrow from Perth. The airline had previously planned to connect Brisbane to Chicago in 2020, but it was scrapped due to the onset of the COVID pandemic.
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The airline could certainly put its partnership with US airlines to good use to provide its passengers with greater connectivity in the country. Qantas’ partnership with American Airlines could help it serve the US regional market through the Chicago flight, and its partnership with Alaska Airlines could prove useful through the Seattle service. Paris would be a popular addition to further your expansion into Europe on top of your existing flights to London.
long haul fleet
Naturally, Qantas would need its longer-range aircraft to operate on these potential routes. His Boeing 787-9 aircraft currently serves his non-stop flight between Perth and London, which takes more than 16 hours.
The airline could easily deploy the Dreamliner from Sydney to Seattle, but a Sydney-Chicago flight will likely push the 787 to its limits. A Brisbane-Chicago service is more likely, as previously planned.
For Paris, Qantas could offer a similar service to the LHR from Perth using its 787, but it could also look forward to the Airbus A350-1000 jet, which would allow it to fly to Europe non-stop from cities like Sydney.
Looking for more operations abroad
In its first Investor Strategy Day presentation since the start of COVID-19, Qantas was particularly enthusiastic about its international business. Its goal is to match pre-COVID international capacity early next year and expects a dramatic increase in revenue from overseas operations.
The airline will begin receiving its Airbus A350-100 aircraft and has major plans for ultra-long-haul flights to the US East Coast and Europe. Qantas, in fact, expects to post more than A$400 million ($260 million) in earnings before interest and tax in the first full year the twelve A350s are in service.
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