Sydney Airport has welcomed the expansion of the Qantas and American Airlines partnership, which will boost capacity between Sydney and the United States with new services from Sydney to Los Angeles with American Airlines and from Sydney to San Francisco with Qantas.
“The enhanced Qantas-American Airlines partnership is good news for tourism, business and trade, as it will increase the airlines’ Sydney-US capacity by 33 per cent or an extra 301,000 seats a year,” Sydney Airport managing director and chief executive officer Kerrie Mather said.
“The United States is a key inbound tourist market for Sydney as our third largest international visitor market and the US economy continues to recover strongly. We expect this increased capacity to further boost tourism and visitor expenditure in Sydney and NSW.
“We look forward to welcoming the world’s largest airline, American Airlines, to Sydney, further strengthening Sydney Airport’s position as Australia’s international gateway.
“The US is Sydney’s largest outbound destination, so we’re pleased this enhanced network will provide more services and choice for Australian travellers, with four routes between Sydney and mainland North America.
“Business travellers make up around a fifth of total passengers travelling from Sydney to the US and they will save around four hours each way with Qantas’ new direct flights from Sydney to San Francisco.”
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase welcomed the announcement of extra services to Sydney from one of the State’s key inbound visitor markets.
“Sydney is Australia’s number one destination for visitors from the USA with 60% of visitors from this market travelling here each year. The announcement of extra services will see more Americans arriving to discover our fantastic State and that’s great news for NSW,” Ms Chipchase said.
“Destination NSW looks forward to working with Sydney Airport and airline partners Qantas and American Airlines to promote the new services and to welcoming more visitors to Sydney and NSW.”
As part of the expanded partnership, Sydney will welcome a new airline, American Airlines, which will commence daily Sydney-Los Angeles services on a 310-seat B777-300ER aircraft in December 2015, subject to regulatory approval. American Airlines is the world’s largest airline by passenger numbers and has the world’s largest commercial aircraft fleet.
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said the plans by American Airlines to add Australia to its international network was great news for the tourism industry and US/Australia tourism more broadly.
“The United States is one of our largest volume and highest spending markets, with more than half a million American visitors pumping more than $2.6 billion into our economy each year,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“As part of our Tourism 2020 ambitions, we hope to grow the US market to in excess of $5 billion by the end of the decade, and if we’re to achieve those sort of numbers we still need a significant and sustainable growth in aviation capacity. American Airlines obviously has a huge footprint within the United States and also significant marketing resources which, when combined together, will significantly improve access and awareness of Australia amongst many millions of American holidaymakers and business travellers.”
Mr O’Sullivan said Tourism Australia would be working with American Airlines and Sydney Airport to support the forthcoming launch.
Qantas currently operates up to 20 frequencies a week to the US mainland and this new partnership with American Airlines will see this increase to 29 a week. The airline will launch its five to six weekly Sydney-San Francisco service in December 2015 on a 364-seat B747-400ER, subject to regulatory approval. Qantas will continue to operate its six weekly Sydney-Dallas service, increasing to seven times a week during peak periods.