Qantas is set to increase capacity from Melbourne to North America, including returning its Airbus A380s to Australia’s second largest city.
The Oneworld carrier on 28 March announced the launch of non-stop Melbourne-Dallas Fort Worth flights, marking the first direct links between the two cities.
It will operate four weekly flights with Boeing 787-9s, and operations are set to commence on 2 December. Qantas already operates direct flights from Sydney to Dallas Fort Worth, which is also the main hub of fellow Oneworld member American Airlines.
The airline will also be increasing operations between Melbourne and Los Angeles, doubling frequencies to eight times a week. From December, Qantas will resume operating its A380s on Los Angeles flights.
News of the capacity ramp-up comes as Australia swings open its borders to fully-vaccinated travellers two years into the coronavirus pandemic.
Qantas group chief customer officer Stephanie Tully says: “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-19 levels.”
Separately, Qantas has also announced the launch of several domestic routes, as travel demand picks up. On 27 March, the carrier launched Sydney-Uluru flights, operated with its 737-800s four times a week.
A day later, Qantas launched four new domestic routes linking state capitals with regional cities: Adelaide-Newcastle, Brisbane-Wagga Wagga, Darwin-Townsville and Darwin-Cairns.
The five new services are part of more than 50 new domestic routes the airline has launched since the pandemic began in 2020. Qantas also expects full domestic recovery by the middle of the year.