Qantas to begin 787-9 Melbourne-San Francisco flights on September 1

written by Gerard Frawley | January 19, 2018

A file image of Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNA arriving at Melbourne Airport. (Victor Pody)
A file image of Qantas Boeing 787-9 VH-ZNA arriving at Melbourne Airport. (Victor Pody)

Qantas has announced a September 1 start date for its upcoming Melbourne-San Francisco flights with Boeing 787-9s.
The new four times weekly non-stop service, which was first announced in December 2017, will operate on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Flight schedules released by Qantas on Friday showed QF49 departing Melbourne in the evening and arriving in San Francisco at 1900 the same day.
Meanwhile, the reciprocal QF50 takes off from San Francisco at 2200 for an early morning arrival into Melbourne.
The flight times closely mirror the oneworld alliance member’s recently launched 787-9 Melbourne-Los Angeles nonstop service which kicked off in late December.
“We expect this flight to be popular with tourists and also corporate travellers looking to do business with San Francisco’s world-leading technology companies,” Qantas International chief executive Alison Webster said in a statement.
“With connections to 17 codeshare destinations including Chicago, Seattle, and Vancouver, the new service also provides another gateway for Australians travelling into the US.”
Ticket sales for the Melbourne-San Francisco flight began on Friday.
Qantas’s 787-9s features 236 seats comprising 42 in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration offering direct aisle access for every passenger, 28 in premium economy laid out 2-3-2 across and 166 in economy in a 3-3-3 layout with 32in seat pitch and 17.2in seat width.
The start of Melbourne-San Francisco flights from September 1 has also prompted a rebalancing of Qantas’s capacity between Melbourne and the United States.
Qantas said the six-times weekly QF95/96 Melbourne-Los Angeles flights with the 787-9 would be trimmed back to two flights a week once the new San Francisco service commenced.
The existing daily QF93/94 Airbus A380 Melbourne-Los Angeles service – a morning departure from Melbourne and an overnight flight from Los Angeles – is unchanged.
A summary of Qantas’s Boeing 787-9 schedule between Melbourne and Los Angeles/San Francisco from September 1 2018.

Flight Number/Routing
Days of operation
Time of departure
Time of arrival

QF49 Melbourne-San Francisco 

Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 

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21:40

19:00

QF50 San Francisco-Melbourne

Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

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22:00

06:30+2

QF95 Melbourne-Los Angeles

Monday, Friday

21:40

19:00

QF96 Los Angeles-Melbourne

Tuesday, Friday

23:55

08:25+2

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11 Comments

  • Craigy

    says:

    As much as I love the A380, I am more likely to use the SFO service out of Melbourne to avoid LAX.

  • Paule

    says:

    @Craigy. Anything to avoid LAX! Absolutely!

  • Lechuga

    says:

    There’s a good chance it’ll become a daily flight and then QF 94/95 become 4-5 times a week after that. Gonna need more dreamliners.

  • David

    says:

    Meh.
    I was off the aircraft and out on the street at LAX in September in under 30 mins.

  • Lechuga

    says:

    UA might deploy on this route soon now that Qantas is making a run into their Hub.

  • Geoff

    says:

    SFO is a far superior Airport experience. Closer too from SE Aus by a few miles!

  • Scott

    says:

    @ David
    Likewise in Mid December, doors open. – on kerb in 30min @ LAX.

  • Merv

    says:

    In the past I’ve always used Air New Zealand transiting through AKL on their 777’s however this no stop shop maybe more a viable option which in turn may effect this service.One advantage is that ANZ have you on the ground mid morning not early evening.
    I suppose pricing the structure of both could be the factor on which airline to use.

  • Kent

    says:

    DFW would be a better choice. Big ‘Merican Airlines Hub

  • Jim

    says:

    does anyone know when the new 787-9 route from Brisbane will be announced?

  • Craigy

    says:

    @ Jim Qantas has announced that the first two Brisbane based B789 will be used on the BNE-LA-JFK route replacing two B744 aircraft which will be retired. There have been a few rumours from contributors to other stories such as BNE-DFW-MEL and vice versa.
    @ Merv, I am guessing the timings match the demand expected. I note that QF73 also leaves later in the day then it did previously from Syd to SFO

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