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Qantas boosts flights to Los Angeles, Santiago, changes New York

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: qantas, sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Airbus A380, Boeing 747, Los Angeles, New York, Santiago

Qantas is set to boost flights from Melbourne to Los Angeles and between Sydney and Santiago from early next year, with the onward Los Angeles-New York flights also getting a shake-up.

The airline says the new schedule is geared to provide US-bound travellers with a choice between morning, noon and late afternoon departures from Australia.

Here's how the revamped timetable for 2015 shapes up.

Melbourne-Los Angeles

From January 21, 2015, the Melbourne-Los Angeles route gets an extra three flights per week on a Boeing 747-400 (QF95/96) on top of the already-daily Airbus A380 service (QF93/94).

QF95 will leave Melbourne at 5:45pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, landing in Los Angeles at 3pm that afternoon.

The QF96 return leg departs LAX at 8:30pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Mondays, to reach Melbourne at 5am two days later.

Qantas' added attention to Melbourne-LAX follows Virgin Australia's decision to abandon its Melbourne-Los Angeles flights from October 21st, while United Airlines will begin a direct Boeing 787-9 service between Melbourne and LAX on October 28.

Sydney-Los Angeles

The daily Sydney-Los Angeles Boeing 747 flight QF107/108 gets a new number and a new timeslot.

As of February 1, 2015 the flight becomes QF17/18.

QF17 will depart Sydney at 5.30pm instead of QF107's current 9.50am wheels-up, which means it will land in LAX at 2.10pm rather than 6.30am.

While that change will prove much better for beating jetlag it means passengers will no longer be able to jump onto the onwards Qantas flight to New York, with connections instead to be offered on Qantas partner American Airlines.

From Los Angeles to Sydney QF18 retains the same timetable as QF108, with an 11:50pm departure from LAX reaching Sydney at 7.35am two days later.

Also as of February 1st the flagship A380 flight of QF11/QF12 will shift to a morning departure from Sydney to take over the slot occupied by QF107 and allow passengers to join the onwards Los Angeles-New York flight.

That means QF11 will leave Sydney at 9:50am and touch down in Los Angeles at 6:30am on the same calendar day.

There's almost no change to the return run of QF12, which is wheels-up from LAX at 10:05pm to reaching Sydney at 6:30am two days later.

The daily Sydney-New York service will officially end on February 1, with that cross-country leg of what's today QF107 being handed over to the Boeing 747 flight from Brisbane.

Brisbane-Los Angeles-New York

From February 1 2015 you'll be able to fly from Brisbane to the Big Apple, with the QF15/16 Boeing 747 service picking up the US transcontinental leg that fell to QF107/108 before that Sydney flight was re-timed.

The Brisbane-Los Angeles timings of QF15 and QF16 remain the same.

Los Angeles-New York

Passengers from Sydney (on QF11) and Melbourne (QF93) will change onto QF15 to scoot from Los Angeles to New York's JFK airport.

After a short stopover at LAX QF15 will continue to New York, departing LAX at 8:55am to arrive into JFK airport at 5:50pm.

QF16 heads out of New York at 6:45pm, touches down in Los Angeles at 9:40pm, then jets off to Brisbane two hours later for its usual 6.55am arrival.


Santiago will also gain a fourth weekly Boeing 747-400 service on Fridays from February 20 2015 – up from three flights per week at present.

Also read: Cathay Pacific launches Boston flights: one stop journey from Perth, Adelaide

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT


About Chris Chamberlin

Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 22/8/14 by FrequentFlyer

I wonder what this means for QF107, i'm sure there's more than scheduling behind swapping the JFK tag to Brisbane. Great to finally see upgauging for Santiago, the QF flights always seem to be packed to South America and i can imagine it being somewhat of a cash cow for them, with LAN as the only real competition.  

2 on 22/8/14 by Robert

Great news,but the QF promo is just that.They will not fly to JFK on their own QF metal after the end of the North American Winter Schedual.Just wait and see to after march 2015.

3 on 22/8/14 by RK

With the extra flights from MEL-LAX and extra flights from SYD to Santiago, these 747's will need to come from somewhere. Will this mean the end of operations to Johannesburg in order for these changes to take place? I really hope not.

1 on 22/8/14 by hutch

Cant be sure, but retiming syd-lax flights saves a 747 sitting on the ground all day in LAX.

2 on 22/8/14 by ILIKEPLANES101

Possibly some from BNE-SIN, SYD-NRT if they change to all a330's. Probably also some from when DFW goes a380 but they will also be ramping up.747's to HKG so maybe not

1 on 22/8/14 by madge

DFW uses 2 747s at the moment. HKG will only require one. The other 747 can operate 3x weekly MEL-LAX.

1 on 22/8/14 by RK

They still need an aircraft for the additional Sydney-Santiago flight each week.

1 on 22/8/14 by FrequentFlyer

Actually they don't- HKG already has some days operated by a 747, which means the additonal plane will only be needed for up to 5 days, allowing an extra Santiago flight. 

1 on 22/8/14 by RK

No worries, I stand corrected.

1 on 23/8/14 by watson374

Also, BNE-SIN has already had its 744 removed. QF51/52 is operated on A330s now, and has been for some months.

It's good to see that an evening flight to LAX has been commenced, though I'm still slightly surprised at the timing; I would have thought that a later departure would be better, e.g. leaving SYD at 7:30pm and arriving at LAX at 4:10pm the same day. That said, it's almost certainly being formed by the ex-JNB frame given the timing (no other QFi long-haul flight arrives in SYD after AM peak).

4 on 22/8/14 by hutch

Good old ausbt was too quick for me. Good news

5 on 22/8/14 by AussieInSeattle

I just checked award availability (or to even book) the new MEL flights and dont see anything - how long does it usually take until they're in the system?

1 on 22/8/14 by hutch

I read somewhere next week

1 on 22/8/14 by Chris

Yep - an email went out later this afternoon from Qantas Corporate Sales:

"Fares for the new services and changes to existing services will be published in selling systems progressively from early next week."

6 on 22/8/14 by smit0847

Apart from the additional MEl-LAX and 1 more SYD-SCL service it seems like everything else is just a re-jig/swapping of timings?

7 on 22/8/14 by RK

It's actually really good to see QF 747's finally back in MEL!

1 on 22/8/14 by GM

Be even better if they made a quick pitstop at AKL en route to the US to give NZ some competition ;)

But in all seriousness, it is good to see some positive news from QF. I really hope that somehow it can turn the corner...

1 on 22/8/14 by Robert

An A330 on this route originating in BNE or MEL via AKL is far better than the stop gap 747 continuation BNE/LAX/JFK.There is no need for a 747 LAX/JFK and grab the traffic the management nuts at QF handed on a silver platter to NZ.One of the worst decisions QF ever made.

1 on 22/8/14 by Andy H

I think QF has no business, flying AKL-LAX, it should focus its resources on Australia and let NZ worry about the NZ market, considering QF covers LAX well with its flights exSYD/MEL/BNE. I have heard QF is studying the feasibility to operate BNE-LAX using A330's, if this is correct, then the first stage is already complete, aligning JFK with QF15/16. I think the A330NEO's will work for QF, they can convert existing A380 orders, as I see no need for additional A380's besides those needed for JNB & SCL (ETOPs resticted routes).

1 on 23/8/14 by GregXL

Perhaps 787-900 rather than A330neo.  They would be available to QFi sooner.

8 on 22/8/14 by JA

What will happen to the Brisbane flights now they go through to New York? Will they still continue to stop at Terminal 4 at LAX, or will they change to TBIT to use the new facilities etc?

1 on 22/8/14 by Chris

Hi JA,

Brisbane flights moved to TBIT earlier this year: Qantas' LAX-Brisbane flight moves to Tom Bradley International

9 on 23/8/14 by GregXL

The later departures from SYD and MEL will be attractive for pax from PER, allowing a comfortable 10am PER-MEL instead of a red eye or a very early PER-SYD.  Not so good for connections further east in the US though.  

Do these later departures allow better utilisation of aircraft arriving from non-US destinations?  It is difficult to see how all the current (or announced) 747 services can be supported with the plan to reduce the fleet to the 9 young and refurbed aircraft, was it by the end of 2015?

1 on 24/8/14 by watson374

The evening SYD-LAX will be formed by the afternoon inbound JNB aircraft.

10 on 23/8/14 by somethingy23

Just a question Chris,

What does this mean for status credits and points? Currently SYD-JFK "direct" gives you 280SC in business while the one-stop connection from BNE or MEL gives 260. The points offered are also less. Also I understand (maybe I am wrong?) that SYD-JFK only qualifies as one segment out of 4 needed for status, while from BNE and MEL it is considered 2.

Are all of these things going to swap between SYD and BNE or is Qantas likely to align the credits and points to become the same through all ports?

11 on 23/8/14 by IAN

With respect to the 744 Syd-Lax service, will this be a 3-class config? I had a Syd-Lax A380 changed to a 744 in May due to an A380 stuck in Hkg and was told my F class would stay. I ended up flying out of Mel on the A380 the next day. My concern is that F on these two aircraft is such a radically different experience (presumably with the same price tag) that I am surprised people dont seem to be commenting on this much. When my flight was changed the F lounge in Sydney and the Platinum line both denied the product was different!! I'd be interested in what people think, especially with both planes flying to Lax with the new schedule.

1 on 24/8/14 by GregXL

I don't think QFi sell F on any scheduled 747 services, so same for new services to LAX.  Any QFi staff who would tell you that F in a substitute 747 operation will be the same product as the A380 F that you booked should either be more honest or get on the aircraft and have a look !  The food and service maybe, the cabin and seat - no chance.  If they stick to their plan, there won't be 747 with F for much longer.

12 on 24/8/14 by 521303

At last some good news from QF for Perth FF Pax.  This change means I won't have to get up at 330am in Perth to make the 630am Sydeny leg to make the early arvo A380 connection.  An evening departure and mid afternoon arrival in LAX is fantastic and long overdue. Well done Qantas.

13 on 24/8/14 by Martin

I think Qantas should just retire all of its B 747 and move them to an ALL A380 Long Haul Fleet. In saying the above, it will be nice to finally fly on the A380 in the mornings rater than the afternoon service out of Sydney. 

1 on 24/8/14 by Robert

As much as i agree how do they continue to fly craping the 747.s.They have cut airline purchases,A380,s in 3  years,A330 reconfigered by end of year at best.NO PERSON OUTSIDE SYDNEY WANTS TO CONNECT THRU SYDNEY.JUST give A380  streamlined service from SYD/MEL/ and BNE so the rest of Australia does not have to to the SYD connect crapt.

14 on 25/8/14 by RK

Whilst it's good to see QF better utilise its aircraft, I can see a future situation whereby it won't have enough A380's or 747's to fill the void if any of its larger aircraft break down. For instance, recently, the 747 has come to the A380's rescue when it has flooded mid-flight or had other breakdowns - including QF32's engine explosion. What aircraft, if any, will Qantas have left in its fleet to use for back-up flights when these sorts of problems occur?

15 on 27/8/14 by ivanb52

The NYC-LAX connection has been a topic in our household recently.

My NY based daughter was on the 6 Aug 108 JFK-LAX and had to spend 24 hours in LAX.  She was supposed to connect in LAX to QF94 to Melbourne, but it departed pretty much as 108 arrived.  Qantas decided it was OK to take all the NY passengers to Sydney. The incremental delays to 108 that followed were very poorly handled (another story ...) and became slightly comedic when 108D finally left for Sydney over a whole day later it went to Brisbane...... maybe it was practicing for the proposed changes.

Thankfully having been in the lounge rather than out in the transit area for nearly 24 hours, my daughter managed to get an economy seat on the following days 7 Aug QF94 and came direct to MEL. The less fortunate Melbourne passengers went to Brisbane, then to Sydney and on to Melbourne, (I guess) arriving around 4pm on Saturday after expecting to arrive 8am Friday. Compensation so far has been a miserable 7500 QFF points on a PE ticket.

Putting aside the handling of the LAX delay, my main concern is - why did  Qantas not wait for the 108 before 94 departed in the first place ?

Given the QF108 B747 from NYC had a known service issue (that caused the initial delay in NY), holding QF94 an extra hour or so would seem to have been sensible insurance.

Several times I have waited many hours in LAX for the NYC passengers to make the connection. The worst was about 5 hours, which was mildly annoying it was understandable as I have also been grateful to make the connection on a delayed flight from NYC.

There was no pressing operational reason for the A380 operating QF94 to leave as its next flight (QF9) from Melbourne was well over 12 hours later.

Confidence in the LAX connection has always been a key reason for choosing Qantas from NYC.  Unfortunately, Qantas’ poor judgement and mishandling has dented that confidence.  

So, finally back on topic to the article, I really don't care where the aircraft / flight number goes after LAX, all I want to know is that ALL the flights to Australia are linked to that incoming flight.from NYC.  

16 on 27/8/14 by AWA2602

Not happy about the cancellation of 107 and 108! I do the SYD-JFK trip a lot and love the upper deck of the B747, I am not a fan of the cavernous A380 J cabin and hate having to transfer from QF metal to AA metal (despite the vast improvements they've made to their transcontinental J service and product - it still lags behind QF). Guess I'll have to detour via BNE to get seat 14B all the way to and from the USA. 


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