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Qantas targets April launch for new US routes from Brisbane

Qantas has confirmed that it plans to launch flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco by the end of April 2020, subject to its network joint venture with American Airlines being finalised.

Both routes will be operated with Boeing 787-9s, with Chicago to be served on a four-times weekly basis, while San Francisco will be flown thrice-weekly.

Qantas says that the new routes will add more than 170,000 seats per year across the Pacific, and increase access for US travellers to destinations in Queensland, such as Townsville and Hamilton Island.

“These new services will connect both Australian business travellers and holidaymakers with key centres of commerce, industry and culture in the United States," says chief executive Alan Joyce.

The Chicago route fulfils a long-held ambition for the Australian carrier, which planned to operate a tag flight to the city from its Los Angeles hub in 2003 but cancelled it before a single flight operated.

Both routes are subject to finalising its joint venture with American Airlines, which was recently granted tentative approval by the US Department of Transportation.

Qantas will retain its daily Brisbane-Los Angeles-New York flights once the new routes launch, resulting in it operating twice-daily services to the USA from the Queensland capital.

Virgin Australia is the only other carrier flying from Brisbane to mainland USA, flying six-times weekly to Los Angeles.

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