Qantas to add Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco

Photo of the skyline of Chicago showing Sears Tower and Navy Pier

Qantas announced yesterday that it had received interim approval from the US Department of Transportation to its resubmitted application for an extended joint venture partnership with its OneWorld partner American Airlines. 

This is a major win for Australians travelling to New York and the US in general as it will lead to more options for stopovers as well as each airline having greater ability to access seats on their respective partners network.

A major incentive that Qantas has used in its submission was its ability to open up new routes from Australia to new US destinations. One of these new destinations is flying direct from Brisbane to Chicago, which has often been discussed as a possible destination. Whilst San Francisco has been advised by Qantas as a new route operated from Brisbane.

Qantas and American Airlines: “Great Mates” Source: QANTAS

As Qantas made Brisbane its heavy maintenance facility for the Boeing 787 it is exciting to see the Queensland capital on the receiving end of these new and exciting routes, rather than the traditional East Coast hubs of Sydney and Melbourne.

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The 787 DreamLiner is the most technologically advanced jet in the Qantas fleet and does offer features tailor made fort the ultra-long haul flights that Qantas is announcing more and more of. It offers the airline’s renowned Business Suite in the front of the aircraft and enhanced cabins for Premium Economy and Economy class passengers to be able to enjoy the journey, rather than just surviving it.

Qantas is expected to make the final announcement of new routes when the agreement is given the final approval from the US DOT in the coming weeks. 

Once final approval is given expects that Qantas and American Airlines will announce details surrounding the timing of the new routes, potential launch dates and further information regarding the re-invigorated alliance.

What does this mean for Australians travelling to New York

The opening of new routes from Brisbane will provide travellers more options when choosing a stopover option when travelling to New York. Currently the only options for Queensland based travellers is to travel via Los Angeles with either Qantas or Virgin Australia, or if they prefer some Canadian hospitality they can take advantage of Air Canada’s flights from Brisbane to Vancouver before connecting to New York.

One of the main benefits of the extended alliance between Qantas and American Airlines is that there is an abundance of flights between the two major cities with up to 15 flights per day departing Chicago’s O’hare airport for New York.

One potential downside is the increased potential for flight disruptions as Chicago can fall victim to massive snow storms in the winter and major thunder storms in the warmer months, however as a major airport this is something they are accustom to, where as transferring via Los Angeles or San Francisco does reduce the issue of weather related delays.


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