Qantas will fly non-stop from Brisbane to Chicago in April 2020

Qantas will fly non-stop from Brisbane to Chicago in April 2020

Qantas is set to launch direct flights from Brisbane to Chicago by the end of April 2020, which will become the fourth longest passenger flight in the world and the second-longest on the Qantas network following Perth-London.

Running four times per week, the 14,326km journey will take approximately 16½ hours and will be complemented by a new three-times-weekly Brisbane-San Francisco flight.

Passengers bound for Chicago will save more than six hours of travel time on a return trip versus flying via Los Angeles as they do today, with Brisbane-Chicago being the first and only non-stop flight to The Windy City from Australia.

As with the Perth-London Boeing 787 flights, Qantas will encourage travellers from other Australian cities to make the domestic hop to Brisbane and then embark on the long trans-Pacific leg.

"These new services will connect both Australian business travellers and holidaymakers with key centres of commerce, industry and culture in the United States," said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce at a media event in Brisbane.

Gert-Jan de Graaff, Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO, adds, "relative to the size of the market and overall demand, Queensland has been under-served from the USA, and these new services will go some way to addressing pent up demand."

Qantas has previously indicated non-stop flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco would be launched as part of its joint venture with American Airlines, which earlier this month received approval from the US Department of Transportation.

The new trans-Pacific routes will run from Brisbane on a Boeing 787, although it's not yet known if these will be drawn from the second batch of six new Dreamliners due for delivery from late this year to late 2020, or if Qantas will re-assign some Dreamliners from existing routes to open up the new corridors.

Chicago will represent a valuable near-'monopoly route' for Qantas, although Air New Zealand began Auckland-Chicago flights in December 2018.

In addition to being an attractive destination in its own right, and the USA's third-largest city, Chicago also serves as a gateway to the mid-West and a hub for American Airlines, with over 500 daily departures including a high-frequency shuttle service to New York.

Joyce says that tickets for its flights from Brisbane to both new US destinations will go on sale "the minute that the US DOT gives their approval."

AusBT review: Qantas Boeing 787 business class, Melbourne-San Francisco

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

48 comments

  • FlyGuy

    FlyGuy

    17 Jun, 2019 08:25 am

    BNE-MIA would be AWESOME!!
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  • JonL

    JonL

    17 Jun, 2019 03:36 pm

    There is probably not enough demand from business travellers to justify a direct ULH flight to Miami with it being a predominantly leisure market and hence more price sensitive but according to Great Circle Mapper, the distance might not be a problem being around 240km further then the current Perth to London flight. It would possibly be load restricted coming back to Australia at the Dallas-Sydney flight sometimes is due to headwinds.

    BNE-ORD 14,326km
    PER-LHR 14,499km
    BNE-MIA 14,738km
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  • LatteLaptopLoon

    LatteLaptopLoon

    17 Jun, 2019 08:33 am

    Direct flights to Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago & Dallas from Brisbane would be awesome.
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  • wdeguara

    wdeguara

    17 Jun, 2019 09:11 am

    Newscorp reporting SanFran as the second destination.
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    rencontre

  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    17 Jun, 2019 08:39 am

    Could they announce an order for more 787s today as well for further expansion in 2021/22?
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    17 Jun, 2019 09:24 am

    I don’t think they will order more 787s today but rather wait until early next year at mid year results time when the deliveries of the current six are well under way, and see if there is space in their capital expenditure for 2020/21 year for another few. They may think 78-10s into that mix for high capacity Asian routes.
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    17 Jun, 2019 11:46 am

    I don't think they'll get any 787-10s, unless Boeing starts making them in Seattle as well.
    Qantas apparently doesn't want any 787s made in Charleston.

    Qantas has 9 options and 30 rights remaining under the original order. I could see them firming up those 9 options and converting some of the rights to options, but not until the next batch of 6 start arriving.
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  • Dave

    Grannular

    17 Jun, 2019 01:31 pm

    What does Charleston have to do with not getting 787-10? Shouldn't the plane come out in the same condition, no matter which factory?
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  • Tremere

    Tremere

    17 Jun, 2019 01:39 pm

    I think Himeno is thinking of Qatar Airways - search "Qatar Charleston 787" - the CEO was annoyed enough with quality issues to go on video with their frustrations.

    Charleston is the newer plant with a less experienced (in Aviation) workforce. 787-10s can only be made there as the longer fuselage sections do not fit in the "Dreamlifters"

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  • vhtae

    vhtae

    17 Jun, 2019 01:34 pm

    Curious to know why they don’t want 787’s from there?
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    17 Jun, 2019 01:45 pm

    Multiple quality, manufacturing and safety issues with aircraft coming out of the Charleston 787 line which haven't happened with the Everatt 787 line.
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  • Kathy Franklyn

    Kathy Franklyn

    19 Jun, 2019 05:28 pm

    I hope they make the economy seats more comfortable than the 171/2 hour Perth to London. They definitely need more padding for that length of time. Won’t do again
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  • Aidan

    Aidan

    17 Jun, 2019 10:14 am

    This is great news, I wouldn't mind connecting via Brisbane to Chicago.
    I'm excited to for the 1PM announcement.
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  • jubbing

    jubbing

    17 Jun, 2019 10:35 am

    Would sure beat going through LA - of course, a SYD/MEL direct to Chicago would be even better, but for now - 100% would connect in BNE vs LAX
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  • Steve Napier

    Steve Napier

    17 Jun, 2019 10:15 am

    Seattle would be great.
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  • Dan

    TravelWatch

    17 Jun, 2019 10:16 am

    Whatever happened to plans for Perth to Paris, Rome, Berlin. See article, David Flynn 27 April 2017.

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  • Member who gave thanks

    TravelWatch

  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    17 Jun, 2019 10:17 am

    They’ve got to sort out the Perth landing fee and terminal dispute first. And I believe it’s now Frankfurt not Berlin now.
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  • Rufus1

    Rufus1

    17 Jun, 2019 11:31 am

    It was never going to be Berlin. Berlin can't even get its new terminal open and sustain its own hub carrier, let alone support ULH flights... Aside from a few bearded hipsters working for startups, there is zero business demand.
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    17 Jun, 2019 11:48 am

    They were looking at BER as an option, had Air Berlin still be a member of oneworld and the new airport opened on time. The flight would have been to connect to the AB hub.

    Though AB is dead and BER still isn't open... @_@ :/
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  • Rufus1

    Rufus1

    17 Jun, 2019 12:42 pm

    Even then - and it's all moot now - why hub through BER (with zero O&D business traffic) when they've got LHR as a European hub and Frankfurt with massive O&D business demand and connections with LH to anywhere you can imagine?

    I used to be a regular on QF5/6 to FRA and it was invariably loaded to the gunnels in business, with both local and a wide mix of connecting traffic.
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  • grov

    grov

    17 Jun, 2019 02:33 pm

    Agree. Not unusual to have a small checkin crowd at FRA but full aircraft, with all the Brits coming across from UK.
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    17 Jun, 2019 02:28 pm

    Perth airport happened.
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  • Adam T

    AT

    17 Jun, 2019 11:02 am

    Any further expansion of the QF network from Australia is a good news story.
    Member who gave thanks

    Chris2304

  • Satoshi Takayama

    Michael Kao

    17 Jun, 2019 11:25 am

    I thought QF has already confirmed the second city is SFO? Although it would be nice to be another US city that QF hasn’t covered.
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    17 Jun, 2019 11:50 am

    QF hasn't confirmed anything yet. They have heavily suggested ORD with SEA, SFO and DFW as next likely contenders.
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  • aggie57

    aggie57

    17 Jun, 2019 01:02 pm

    Frankly I’d rather do immigration at LAX than at O’Hare.
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    17 Jun, 2019 01:27 pm

    How bad is ORD T5 compared to LAX TBIT?
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    17 Jun, 2019 01:29 pm

    For the 14 weekly AU-SFO (10 currently) and 14 weekly BNE-US (10 currently) mentioned in the QF press release, they'll need to drop BNE-LAX from 10 to 7, then have 4 to SFO and 3 to ORD.
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  • vhtae

    vhtae

    17 Jun, 2019 01:30 pm

    Looking forward to the new ORD service and connecting in BNE seems fairly easy.
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  • tomJ

    tomJ

    17 Jun, 2019 05:41 pm

    Not to mention that I'd much rather take a QF service from my home port to Brisbane than fly to LAX and spend 3 hours on AA to Chicago!
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  • paul mack

    paul mack

    17 Jun, 2019 04:29 pm

    What about Syd/Bris/Rio or Syd/Bris/Lima ?
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  • Dredgy

    Dredgy

    17 Jun, 2019 07:21 pm

    Can’t see Lima being done, Rio (most likely), Buenos Aires and I think São Paulo were mentioned as candidate cities for Project Sunrise.
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  • wdeguara

    wdeguara

    17 Jun, 2019 05:43 pm

    As a question, would Qantas’s 787 have range to do ORD-SYD nonstop ?
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  • nige00160

    nige00160

    18 Jun, 2019 09:46 pm

    In short, no. To quote Alan Joyce from another AusBT article, "Brisbane has an advantage: it’s closer to a lot more (US) destinations than Sydney or Melbourne, so that gives us the ability to do things like Dallas, or to do other cities in the States that we can’t do from any other state in Australia”. Presumably Chicago is one of these cities he refers to which is beyond the range of a SYD/MEL flight for the 787-9.
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  • mviy

    mviy

    19 Jun, 2019 10:04 pm

    After LHR and JFK, ORD would be one of the candidates for the next Project Sunrise route one would think, but that’ll be years away.
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  • Dredgy

    Dredgy

    17 Jun, 2019 07:19 pm

    Sweet.


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  • markpk

    markpk

    17 Jun, 2019 09:26 pm

    Great news from my perspective given my work now has me needing to get to the rust belt of North America a few times a year.

    It will be interesting to see what lounge Qantas uses at ORD - the AA Flagship lounge is pretty impressive - hopefully that will be what we get to use.
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  • Sanjay Prakash

    sanj747

    18 Jun, 2019 07:56 am

    Great news. One internal change in Aus makes the trip to Chicago easy. Looking forward to doing this flight once it comes on line.
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  • Patricio

    Patricio

    18 Jun, 2019 08:32 am

    Just wondering about the schedule, I read that the SF flight will be replacing the 8.50pm QF55 which departs at , and it was mentioned it will be running Monday-Wednesday-Saturday.

    Would it stand that the Chicago flight would be 8.30pm Tuesday-Thursday-Friday-Sunday?

    Considering this, leaving at 8.30pm, with a 17hr journey would have an arrival into Chicago at 10pm, which makes me thinks a evening departure unlikely.

    I really like an evening departure on a Friday so you can get on your way after the work week, rather than waiting til Saturday. It'd be great to hear what others think about the likley schedule.
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  • charlieg

    charlieg

    18 Jun, 2019 09:00 am

    Hopefully the ORD-BNE flights will arrive BNE early morning (like DFW/LAX back to SYD / MEL etc) So hopefully a quick turn-around and departure from BNE-ORD will be departing late-morning to Midday, to allow for connecting flights from ADL/MEL/SYD etc and arrive into Chicago around midday/early afternoon, to facilitate connections within the Mid-west.
    Member who gave thanks

    shera1451

  • Jason Bird

    Speedbird

    18 Jun, 2019 11:09 am

    Love Chicago!! One of my favourite cities in the US. Just wonder if they will ever build it up to daily at some point??
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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    18 Jun, 2019 11:10 am

    Indeed they do but they need to order more 787s first
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  • Anthony Spasevski

    Zaps1971

    19 Jun, 2019 02:39 pm

    Joyce get your hands on a few A350/1000 (Fantastic birds)
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  • Lindsay Wilson

    QF WP

    19 Jun, 2019 02:44 pm

    I'll pass on BNE/ORD thanks very much. Wouldn't want to be flying there in the US-winter as I'd be on first name terms with the alternate airport staff (presumably MKE, IND, STL or CVG).
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  • BJ01

    BJ01

    19 Jun, 2019 06:33 pm

    Great news and Chicago is a great city, even in deep winter. BNE is also an easy transit point despite the terminal change via SkyTrain or bus.
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  • russell_abs

    russell_abs

    20 Jun, 2019 01:59 pm

    Is Qantas likely to ever offer a First service from Brisbane to any destination??
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    20 Jun, 2019 03:00 pm

    It's been many years since Qantas has offered first class out of Brisbane on its own metal. Only 'Qantas' option for Brisbane first class flyers is to book Qantas codeshare flights in Emirates first class, which are available from Brisbane to Singapore, and from Brisbane to Dubai (and vice versa), as well as onward legs like Dubai-London.
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18 Jul, 2019 09:16 am

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