Artist's concept of a Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Image courtesy of Travel Guru - Australia.
On Thursday, December 14, 2017, Australian national carrier Qantas announced its plans to begin nonstop service between San Francisco and Melbourne, using its brand-new Boeing 787-9 aircraft. In an official statement, they announced that the new service between the two cities will begin sometime in "late 2018," though no date has been specified yet. This route will likely fly 3-4 times a week, complementing Qantas' current daily service from San Francisco to Sydney, which is presently operated by the Boeing 747-400.
For this new long haul route, which would span between 14 and 15 hours in length, Qantas will use their all-new Boeing 787-9 aircraft, which just entered international service today between Melbourne and Los Angeles, following a shakedown period on Australian domestic flights. This aircraft features a low-density arrangement of 236 seats, with 42 seats in business, 28 seats in premium economy, and 166 seats in economy. Business class features the Thomson Vantage XL seat as its hard product, a fairly private and common lie-flat seat configured in a staggered layout. Furthermore, premium economy and economy both feature the carrier's latest designs, including a revamped entertainment system, as well as innovate foot nets, which provide more comfort as the passenger relaxes, in place of the standard foot rests.
Allison Webster, Qantas' chief executive overseeing international service, noted that Qantas has observed "strong demand from San Francisco, both from a tourism perspective and because of the business links between Silicon Valley and Melbourne.... A significant number of our Melbourne passengers flying to Los Angeles already connect on to San Francisco." Furthermore, it appears to be that some of the extra capacity on the Los Angeles to Melbourne route will be shifted to San Francisco, allowing them to fly between the two Californian cities on alternate days.
Are you planning on booking a ticket between San Francisco and Melbourne next year?