Qantas Sydney-San Francisco flights to go daily

Qantas Sydney-San Francisco flights to go daily

Qantas will boost its Sydney-San Francisco flights to a daily schedule over the December-January period, making it that little bit easier for business travellers as well as holiday-makers to map out their itinerary.

The San Francisco Boeing 747 service, which Qantas resurrected in December 2015 after axing the route in May 2011, currently skips Tuesdays to run only six days a week but has enjoyed strong patronage, a spokesperson for the airline said.

"To meet demand over the busy Christmas holiday period, Qantas will operate daily between SYD and SFO from 12th December 2016 to 26th January 2017."

Over the same period, the daily Sydney-Los Angeles QF 11/12 service will be upgraded to an Airbus A380 every day, compared to the current schedule which sees a Boeing 747 operating on the route one day each week.

Also read: Best airport lounges for Qantas passengers in San Francisco

PREVIOUS | Qantas has opened bookings on the Sydney-San Francisco route, with first flights from 18 December 2015.

The outbound flight QF73 departs Sydney at 3pm to reach San Francisco at 9.30am that same day.

The QF74 return leg is wheels-up from Fog City at 11.25pm for a Sydney touchdown at 9am two days later.

For the first weeks the Boeing 747 flights will run only on selected 'peak days', Qantas says, but in late January 2016 they'll tick over to six days a week, with Saturday being the jumbo jet's only day off.

PREVIOUS | Qantas will restart flights between Sydney and San Francisco from December 18, over four years since it shuttered the route in May 2011.

The move brings fresh competition to United Airlines, which is currently the only carrier offering direct flights between the two cities.

Australian business travellers headed to Silicon Valley, that sprawling south-of-SF home to dotcoms and startups alike, have previously had to fly with United or jet into LAX and catch a connecting flight.

Qantas will run six flights a week between Sydney and San Francisco on its Boeing 747, with 58 fully-flat Skybed II business class seats, 36 premium economy seats and 270 in economy.

The airine is expected to bring back the route's previously-used flight numbers of QF73 and QF74, with a 3pm departure from Sydney and 9.30am arrival into San Francisco.

"San Francisco is now the most popular onward destination for Qantas’ customers travelling to the US and we’re thrilled to be going back" said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

"We know there is a strong demand for direct flights, particularly from our corporate clients who will save about four hours each way by not having to connect through LAX."

In related news, Qantas partner American Airlines will also begin daily flights between Los Angeles and Sydney from December 17.

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

67 comments

  • moa999

    moa999

    10 Jun, 2015 05:16 am

    Great news

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  • domesticgoddess

    domesticgoddess

    10 Jun, 2015 06:04 am

    Excellent news, San Fran is a great city. Though to be pedantic...

    "have previously had to fly with United or jet into LAX and catch a connecting flight"

    The other option was via AKL on NZ who also fly to SFO.

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  • Stefan Kane

    DrSK

    10 Jun, 2015 11:34 am

    . . . . which arguably represents the most comfortable option to SFO from Australian cities other than Sydney, in premium cabins at least.

    Here's hoping this increase in capacity ex-SYD will improve the competitiveness of AirNZ J fares to SFO . . .

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  • Jared wyles

    jaredw

    14 Jul, 2015 01:00 pm

    They have been pretty competative every time i have had to use them. Usually able to fly over for 5500-6000. 

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  • DB

    aussieboyaussie

    15 Jul, 2015 06:35 am

    We've always taken Air NZ to SFO every year for the last 6 years, and found them to be competitively priced for Prem Econ from BNE to SFO.  I also like their spaceseats in the 773.  But in the last few years we found it very difficult to find a good deal with Air NZ.  We really hate connecting through LAX, I'd much rather do it at this end, so from now onon we will be taking Qantas via SYD to SFO.   I hope that one day Qantas will fly direct BNE to SFO. 

    Awesome job Qantas for resurrecting this service!  You've got us back.

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  • flyOFTEN

    flyOFTEN

    15 Jul, 2015 07:58 pm

    yeh buy who wants to fly anywhere via fricking awful SYD !!!

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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    10 Jun, 2015 06:22 am

    They will also have better 747 fleet utilisation with reducing the 747 MEL - LAX from 3 to 2 per week but then operating a 6 day a week SFO service in return

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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    10 Jun, 2015 06:39 am

    And even also they are reducing the 747 SYD - LAX QF17/18 service to 3 a week overall services will be up from 44 too 52 a week. 

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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    10 Jun, 2015 06:42 am

    That's including the ANA service so it's only 45 but still an improvement. Now AJ order those 787!!

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  • Jason Bird

    Speedbird

    10 Jun, 2015 08:37 am

    HA... You and your B787's

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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    10 Jun, 2015 08:43 am

    What are you trying to say?

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  • Jason Bird

    Speedbird

    10 Jun, 2015 10:14 am

    Light hearted comment Christopher... That's all

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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    10 Jun, 2015 10:21 am

    oh yes,  I remember. A with this extra fleet utilisation and the reduction of 747 Mekbiurne and Sydney flights  to LAX do you see Qantas able retire any more 747s? Do you reckon they've changed their mind on getting to 9 by mid next year? They were planning to retire 1 747 from the 1HFY15 results in the second half of this financial year, but how?

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  • hutch

    hutch

    10 Jun, 2015 10:35 am

    I suspect the non-refurbished 747's will fly until they each are due for major maintenance. When those checks are due, they will fly to the desert.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    10 Jun, 2015 02:21 pm

    Only way they can reduce current 747 flying to retire aircraft would be the 747 HKG and TYO flights going to A330 (or pulling out of routes)

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  • riley

    riley

    10 Jun, 2015 10:23 am

    I think this route will force the hand for a decision (announcement) on the dreamliners. It's clearly a business sector with demand for a premium service, not a tired old 747.

    They mention the onward connections to SFO. I wonder what percentage of the 12 first suites connect onwards on the LAX A380 service?

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  • flyOFTEN

    flyOFTEN

    10 Jun, 2015 09:46 am

    great news but why announce it only 6 months out ?

    Many 1000's of people are already booked for Xmas school holidays & the 4 x SYD/LAX flights per week & the 1 x MEL/LAX flight per week that are being cancelled to free up an aircraft for SYD/SFO will cause disruption to many people.

    Suspect people ex SYD will be put on American Airlines or offered the other SYD/LAX Qantas flight. People ex MEL will now probably be shunted via SYD or BNE.

     

     

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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    10 Jun, 2015 11:25 am

    I suspect the recent A380 out of action really forced the issue of QF's aircraft availability and they accelerated the discussions to get help from a partner with their routes.

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  • GgFlyer

    GgFlyer

    10 Jun, 2015 09:56 am

    This is great!

    First SYD - YVR

    Then SYD - HND and BNE - NRT

    Then PER - SIN

    Now SYD - SFO!

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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    10 Jun, 2015 12:14 pm

    Why no new routes from MEL?  I find it hard to believe that the demand isn't there.  Transfering from domestic to international and vice versa in Sydney is a no-no due to the rediculous amount of time required.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    10 Jun, 2015 05:01 pm

    I know right!

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    10 Jun, 2015 05:26 pm

    One good alternative would be to have flights departing the Intl. terminal in MEL which are timed well enough so passengers who are continuing onwards to the United States can have a smooth transfer. I won't complain if they did that.

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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    10 Jun, 2015 05:42 pm

    so like if QF had a dedicated international service to connect to any international flight out of sydney.  Even if just a couple of 738s a day. But that won't happen.

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  • Arcanum

    Arcanum

    11 Jun, 2015 06:13 am

    I remember flying SYD-MEL on a Jetstar A330 which left from the international terminal at SYD.  I believe it was a tag onto an Asian flight, although I can't remember if it had arrived from overseas into SYD or was continuing on from MEL.  At check-in at SYD I was given a sticker on my boarding pass that let me bypass customs/immigration at the international terminal.

    Perhaps they could come up with something similar at MEL.  Fly MEL-SYD using the international terminals at both ends with some method to allow domestic passengers on that leg.  Time it so it connects to the major international flight bank out of SYD.  Maybe even fly an international-config A330 on MEL-SYD-MNL/HKG/etc. to allow a nearly seamless connection to a destination QF doesn't currently serve from MEL.

     

    at MEL and SYD with some method for allowing domestic passengers on the MEL-SYD leg.  It could be timed to connect to the big international

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  • Arcanum

    Arcanum

    11 Jun, 2015 06:20 am

    Sorry, seem to have doubled up my text there while editing.  Is there some way to erase those last three lines?

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    10 Jun, 2015 05:01 pm

    And PER-AKL

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  • GgFlyer

    GgFlyer

    10 Jun, 2015 05:17 pm

    True, although PER - AKL has been around for a bit

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  • Frank

    Frank

    14 Jun, 2015 06:19 pm

    I doubt I would consider 1 B737 per day PER-SIN  6 days per week great, compared to what's being offered by others.

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  • GgFlyer

    GgFlyer

    14 Jun, 2015 08:09 pm

    Better than nothing 

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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    14 Jun, 2015 08:18 pm

    QF's lack of frequency is why I chose SQ for europe trips and have stuck with SQ ever since

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  • Jimbo007

    Tonkatough

    10 Jun, 2015 10:24 am

    At last. Just hope enough seats will be filled to keep the service going. This was always my preferred city en route to the east coast (and also as a great city to stop to visit) because I usually had 2-3 seats to myself both ways. Here's hoping this service is sustainable.

    No member give thanks

  • DB

    aussieboyaussie

    10 Jun, 2015 10:26 am

    YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No member give thanks

  • Travelnut

    Travelnut

    10 Jun, 2015 11:34 am

    Can anyone read between the lines from AJ's comments - about possibly re-opening up the old AKL-LAX routes? Yes I know QF don't have enough planes to service that sector, so would that mean AA would service that route and give NZ a run for their money? I sure hope that route gets re-started and better srill using QF metal as AA or any USA carriers arent as popular as QF - if given a choice between the 2 carriers!

    Also I bet EK are itching with envy with not being able to get in on this side of the Pacific!

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    10 Jun, 2015 02:23 pm

    AA 789 LAX or DFW-AKL-MEL?

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  • Travelnut

    Travelnut

    10 Jun, 2015 03:49 pm

    yes - thank you! I forgot about the DFW-AKL possiblility. In fact I think that sector would be a better business option than LAX-AKL since DFW is a major AA hub. That makes more sense when one sonsiders NZ plans to start their Houston-AKL soon!

    Which means LAX-AKL on QF metal would be a distance possibility then???

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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    10 Jun, 2015 11:51 am

    Excellent news! Clearly the route is quite profitable if a fuel-inefficient 747 can run it 6 days per week.

    The product is dated, but the 747s are first in line to be replaced by Dreamliners so the product will get updated reasonably quickly (and I am sure it will become a daily service when Dreamliners are on the route, perhaps with additional services to SFO launching from MEL certainly and perhaps BNE?). And let us be honest, Qantas Business vs. United Business generally leans towards Qantas (since the food/booze/service are better, and I don't think United's beds are better than Q's). Premium Economy is also better on Qantas (compared to United's Main Cabin Extra) and I think Q's Economy is a bit better as well.

    The fact that Qantas are adding more routes shows that things really are looking up for them.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    10 Jun, 2015 02:24 pm

    QF73/74 was profitable when it was canned in 2011. The route was transfered to DFW because they thought DFW would be more profitable then SFO.

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  • Flying Fish

    AWA2602

    10 Jun, 2015 12:04 pm

    Brilliant news!!

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  • Jared wyles

    jaredw

    10 Jun, 2015 04:47 pm

    This is great news... Although have been favouring air NZ and gaining staus on virgin. Hopefully I can get a one world status match! Don't much favour starting at the bottom again. 

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  • Hugo

    Hugo

    11 Jun, 2015 11:43 am

    Me too! I gave up flying QF when they pulled out of SFO last time and switched to NZ for this route and VA in general. 

    Damned if I'm gonna start from the bottom and earn QF status though.

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  • findjeremy

    findjeremy

    12 Jun, 2015 03:26 am

    Me three!! ugh..completely let OneWorld go and am Gold Elite with Air NZ..hmm..wonder if Qantas will invest in a decent lounge for SFO!

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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    12 Jun, 2015 12:18 pm

    Qantas should absolutely do a status match for former customers who really had no choice but to fly United or Air NZ once SFO was ditched for DFW. Qantas needs to pick and stick with San Francisco. The airline has a long and impressive history with the Bay area, it is a super important city in the new economy for Australia, a great holiday destination, and has one of the best airports in the US. Deserves Qantas investing its best product. Should be the first port for a 787-9.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    10 Jun, 2015 04:53 pm

    It's all UA's fault for delivering a despicable product across the Pacific now they got QF on their back.

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  • mmdownunder

    mmdownunder

    10 Jun, 2015 06:13 pm

    Good move Qantas would prefer to fly into SFO any day over LAX.

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  • Serg

    Serg

    10 Jun, 2015 07:56 pm

    This is for good

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  • findjeremy

    findjeremy

    11 Jun, 2015 05:27 am

    This is great to hear (albeit after I've let my Qantas FF slip to silver due to flying Air NZ on this route 4-5x per year)

    That being said it's disappointing that it won't be the A380 and there won't be an 'F class' option..LAX is still winning on both fronts there.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    11 Jun, 2015 09:29 pm

    well to say the least there is still the DFW option

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  • djcz

    djcz

    14 Jun, 2015 07:08 pm

    QF'S VH-OEF flew their last SYD-SFO ,  its still in service today. Maybe is could be the first plane operated on the route as a re-welcome?

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  • petrhsr

    petrhsr

    19 Jun, 2015 03:15 pm

    Great news.  Pity it's not on a 789.

     

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  • Jared wyles

    jaredw

    14 Jul, 2015 01:04 pm

    Wow. Kind of expensive looking at random dates when i would need to travel next year. Approaching 10k return.

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  • Hugo

    Hugo

    15 Jul, 2015 10:11 am

    Only $2200 return when I checked...

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  • Jared wyles

    jaredw

    15 Jul, 2015 10:12 am

    That price was buisness. 

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  • lind26

    lind26

    15 Jul, 2015 07:42 pm

    What does the plane do in San Fran for 14 hours?

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  • lind26

    lind26

    15 Jul, 2015 07:42 pm

    What does the plane do in San Fran for 14 hours?

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  • sdtravel

    sdtravel

    17 Jul, 2015 03:31 am

    cleaning and refueling 

    Also since it's one flight the same crew would likely be used so a minimum rest period might be required or alternatively they would need to get crew to fly in from Lax to take over but that would leave a crew in sfo waiting for another aircraft or require them to be transferred somewhere 

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  • lind26

    lind26

    18 Jul, 2015 02:13 am

    Wow surely not the same crew there and back!

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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    18 Jul, 2015 09:53 am

    why not...14hrs is a decent amount of time for stopover

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  • lind26

    lind26

    18 Jul, 2015 09:16 pm

    It would really only be about 10 hrs by the time you entered the country rested then got back to the airport on time?

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  • heidimj

    heidimj

    20 Nov, 2015 02:43 pm

    What happens re the qantas platinum lounge access in SFO? Does this mean we will need to use AA?

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  • Matthew Holden

    MGHolden

    25 Nov, 2015 05:21 pm

    Been trying to book this new route via qantas. Be warned of the sting in the pricing - especially if it is SFO-SYD-SFO expect over $3500 economy. Didn't want to stomach looking at Premium economy. Perhaps too early to fly the Ted kangaroo again...

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  • Matthew Holden

    MGHolden

    25 Nov, 2015 05:21 pm

    Been trying to book this new route via qantas. Be warned of the sting in the pricing - especially if it is SFO-SYD-SFO expect over $3500 economy. Didn't want to stomach looking at Premium economy. Perhaps too early to fly the Ted kangaroo again...

    No member give thanks

  • Jack Dawson

    Jack Dawson

    19 Dec, 2015 11:52 am

    Wait, so the aircraft spends like 14 hours on the ground at SFO???

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    19 Dec, 2015 02:07 pm

    Correct.

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  • Jack Dawson

    Jack Dawson

    19 Dec, 2015 02:41 pm

    WOW!! That is surprising! And Alan joyce is always talking about how Qantas has been using fleet utilisation to keep aircraft in the air and not on the ground to cut costs

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    20 Dec, 2015 01:34 pm

    Qantas does maintenance on the aircraft while they're on the ground in LAX – they could also do this at SFO or position the aircraft to LAX for maintenance before returning to SFO to operate the evening flight.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    19 Apr, 2016 05:19 pm

    Hopefully this daily service turns into a permanent one!

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  • FLX

    FLX1

    21 Apr, 2016 01:37 pm

    I strongly suspect it will go to daily yr-round after 789 starts to join QF fleet fm nex yr.  Strong corp traffic demand as stated in the story is 1 of the motive to improve frequency as a priority above say, gauge capacity(i.e.vs larger 744 @ fewer frequency).

    Across QF Int'l network, long Trans-Pcf missions such as SYD-SFO will be where QF can realize the maximum savings in fuel burn 789 vs 744 even in a low oil price environment.

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19 Jun, 2019 09:16 am

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