Delta makes surprise move to launch LA-Sydney service

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Competition on the Australia-USA sector is set to increase dramatically with US carrier Delta Air Lines preparing to launch a daily non-stop service from Los Angeles to Sydney.

Delta has just loaded into global distribution systems (GDS) a daily service on the Atlanta-Los Angeles-Sydney route.

The SkyTeam Alliance carrier will operate a Boeing 777-200LR on the route and the service starts 1 July subject to government approval.

The outbound Atlanta-Los Angeles-Sydney flight will have the DL17 flight code and the return will have DL16, according to the GDS entry.

Currently only Qantas Airways and United Airlines operate on the Sydney-Los Angeles.

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 © Delta Air Lines

It is one of Qantas' most profitable routes and for years interested parties such as the Australian Tourist Commission have been crying out for more competition and lower fares on the route.

Virgin Blue's new long-haul carrier V Australia plans to launch services in February on the Sydney-Los Angeles route using a Boeing 777-300ER.

Delta Air Lines' general sales agent in Sydney confirmed that the US carrier planned to launch a service on the route but declines to comment further.