Qantas will boost services between Australia and the US from January 2015 with 10 flights per week between Melbourne and Los Angeles, as well as introducing a new schedule to provide greater flexibility for travellers to depart in the morning, midday or evening.
The carrier also plans to up services between Sydney and Santiago from three to four times per week from 20 February.
“The US is one of our most important markets and we will now offer our customers 45 return services per week to North and South America,” Qantas International CEO Simon Hickey.
“It also means improved options for same day arrivals into the US for our customers connecting from all capital cities, regional Australia and New Zealand. For our Queensland customers, it offers a new one-stop service to New York via the Los Angeles gateway while still providing excellent connections for our Sydney and Melbourne customers to New York.”
The new services are the result of some schedule adjustments across the Pacific allowing for increased B747 flying time, one of the key elements of the Qantas Transformation Program announced earlier this year.
“As part of our strategy to build a stronger Qantas, we’ve introduced a new approach to aircraft utilisation so we can take advantage of opportunities in the market. It means adjusting our schedules across the network to ensure our fleet spend less time on the ground and more time in the air, as we have done with our new A380 Dallas service starting next month,” added Mr Hickey.
“Aircraft are one of our biggest fixed costs so we continue to look for opportunities across our network to generate revenue and increase services for our customers.
Customers connecting through to destinations across central and eastern parts of the United States will now have three options from Sydney – a morning and evening service to Los Angeles, and afternoon service to Dallas/Fort Worth.
Mr Hickey said the new trans-pacific schedule continues to deliver on the airline’s strategy to fly into major international gateways, offering customers more connections with codeshare partners and a seamless flying experience.
“We recently announced new codeshare services with our partner LAN from Santiago to six destinations across South America and will now operate A380 services to both Dallas and Los Angeles, connecting with codeshare partner American Airlines to more than 100 destinations across North America.
Fleet and network adjustments are earmarked to save up to $600 million over three years for the Qantas Group from the overall $2 billion cost reduction target that is at the centre of the airline’s turnaround plans. Increased aircraft utilisation and accelerated retirement of older, non-reconfigured B747s form part of this.
These changes come in a year of the 60th anniversary of Qantas services to the US. In 1954, Qantas operated a Super Constellation from Sydney to San Francisco – its first trans-Pacific route to North America.
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