Qantas is set to launch a new route from Melbourne to the US hub airport of Dallas Fort Worth in December.
The four-times-weekly flights will be serviced by its 787-9s and land at a destination that provides quick ongoing connections to major US cities including New York, Chicago and Miami.
The Flying Kangaroo said customers will then be able to take advantage of its long-standing codeshare with American Airlines, effectively allowing it to significantly expand its international network to Victorian flyers.
Qantas Group’s chief customer officer, Stephanie Tully, said, “We are seeing really strong demand from Melburnians wanting to travel overseas for a holiday or business trip after two years at home, while inbound tourism is starting to pick up.
“Flights to the United States are particularly strong with Los Angeles bookings now exceeding pre-COVID levels.
“We know large numbers of customers have been travelling between Melbourne and Dallas Fort Worth via our existing Sydney service, which gives us great confidence about how this route will perform when flights start.”
Qantas on Sunday also announced it would increase flights between Melbourne to LA from four to eight weekly, effective this week, and reintroduce the A380 on the service from December.
“Our customers in Melbourne have told us they have really missed the Qantas A380, so it’s fantastic that they’ll be back flying by the end of the year with our full premium service on these newly refurbished aircraft,” said Tully.
The news comes weeks after Qantas and Jetstar said it would boost daily return flights to New Zealand following the announcement the country is opening up quarantine-free travel to Australians yet again in April.
The flag carrier and its subsidiary will operate 30 return flights per week across the Tasman on five routes, a major boost from the two previously running, according to the companies.
The flights will increase on 13 April, a day after fully vaccinated Australians are able to return to New Zealand without having to isolate, from 11:59pm on 12 April.
New Zealand will also welcome back fully vaccinated visitors from “visa-waiver” nations including the US, the UK, Japan, Singapore and Germany from midnight 1 May.
Travellers will still need to present a negative COVID-19 test before departure, and two rapid antigen tests within a week of arrival but will not need to isolate.
Qantas will fly daily from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to Auckland and Sydney to Christchurch on its Boeing 737 aircraft and Airbus A330 aircraft.
Jetstar will operate three weekly flights from the Gold Coast to Auckland on its Airbus A320 jets.