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Victoria throws weight behind Qantas Frisco service

September 4, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Delighted with the launch of the first-ever direct flight between Melbourne and San Francisco at the weekend, Victoria is linking the new Qantas service to a major tech campaign focusing on Silicon Valley in the southern San Francisco Bay area.

The new Qantas QF49 service will ease travel between the two cities and slash flight times. The inaugural flight flew on Saturday and Qantas will operate four return flights per week on the route, using its B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Melbourne-San Francisco is one of several new non-stop routes for Qantas and other airlines, and bookings for the long-haul flights are healthy. See: Bookings soar on super long-range flights

Qantas is losing no time in deploying the new B787-9 Dreamliner planes it is receiving from Boeing. It has also begun its first international Dreamliner flights from Queensland with a daily service from Brisbane to Los Angeles and onwards to New York.

Qantas International chief executive Alison Webster called the nonstop flights between Melbourne and San Francisco a win for the 60,000 travellers who currently need to make a stop when travelling between the two cities.

“This is great news for Victorians, as they will have direct flights to San Francisco for the very first time,” she said.

“This will reduce travel times by at least two hours which means less time in the air and more time to explore or work in San Francisco.

“Travel between the United States and Australia continues to grow – with a 13% increase in visitors to Australia in the past year.”

The flight is numbered QF49 in recognition of the city’s symbolic references to the number 49 dating back to the California Gold Rush of 1849, including the local San Francisco 49ers American Football team.

The Victorian Government worked closely with Qantas on the launch of the new service and Victoria is backing it with a new campaign to attract investment from Silicon Valley.

The state expects the big boost in visitor numbers to generate more than AUD 30 million a year in expenditure, grow total USA air freight exports to over a billion dollars and make it easier than ever before for San Francisco-based companies to do business with Victoria.

Victoria has launched a campaign to attract more investment from the world’s leading technology companies in Silicon Valley, promoting Victoria’s highly skilled tech workforce and its position as a leading tech hub in the Asia Pacific region.

Qantas hits the San Francisco cable cars

“Qantas’ new San Francisco flights are a big win for Victoria,” the state’s Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren, declared.

“They will strengthen our connection to the United States and bring more visitors, create new business opportunities and deliver more jobs for Victorians.”

The Melbourne Tech City campaign will feature prominent outdoor advertising, including on five of San Francisco’s light rail trams and on coffee cups at cafes along the rail corridor that takes tech workers to key business areas in Silicon Valley, as well as digital advertising and editorial content in key publications.

Victoria considers itself Australia’s leading technology city, having already secured investment from some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley including Square, Zendesk, Google and Salesforce.

Many of these companies feature in the Melbourne Tech City campaign – explaining why they set up regional headquarters in Melbourne and how it has allowed them to draw on Victoria’s culture of innovation and to gain access to new markets in different time zones.

The digital technology sector already employs 85,000 Victorians and the campaign to attract investment from key US players is part of a broader drive by the Andrews Labor government to grow the sector and create more jobs for locals.

Written by Peter Needham

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