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Airlines & Airports

 June 09, 2015
SFO Welcomes Return of Qantas Airways; Resumption of Nonstop Flights To Sydney In December

 The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has welcomed the return of Qantas Airways, which announced plans to resume nonstop service between SFO and Sydney beginning December 20, 2015. Qantas plans a build up to a schedule of six flights per week effective January 2016. The airline had previously operated at SFO from March 29, 2006, through May 7, 2011.

"San Francisco is pleased to welcome the return of Qantas Airways to SFO, a clear sign of economic confidence in our Bay Area region," said Mayor Lee. "Qantas carries a rich tradition dating back to the dawn of commercial aviation, and we are proud to once again be a part of their future. The return of Qantas will strengthen the highly regarded sister city relationship between San Francisco and Sydney."

SFO Airport Director John L. Martin also expressed his excitement over the resumption of service. "In 1959, Qantas established the first air service between San Francisco and Sydney. Their return to SFO is a wonderful homecoming, one which reaffirms our status as the premier gateway to the Pacific."

Australia represents a significant source of travel and tourism for San Francisco. In 2014, a total of 201,600 people visited San Francisco from Australia, ranking it seventh among international inbound markets to San Francisco. Visitors to San Francisco from Australia spent over $279M in 2014, a rate which is expected to grow at a rate of 7.3% this year. Tourism from Australia also accounted for 647,000 paid hotel nights in 2014, with a spend rate of $337 per visitor per day. (Data courtesy of the San Francisco Travel Association)

Qantas is one of the largest and oldest airlines in the world, having been founded in 1920 as the Queensland and Northern Territories Aerial Services Limited. In 1935, Qantas began operating international flights, with service between Darwin, Australia and Singapore. In 1959, Qantas launched its first jet service, operating a Boeing 707 from Sydney to San Francisco via Nadi, Fiji and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Today, Qantas has a 65% share of the Australian domestic market and carries 18.7% of all passengers travelling in and out of Australia. The airline has established a reputation among the world's leading long-distance airlines, having been named "Best Airline -- Australia/Pacific" at the 2014 and 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards. In 2015, Qantas was named "Australia's favorite airline" in TripAdvisor's 2015 Travellers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Service" in Airline Excellence Awards.

Qantas is a founding member of the OneWorld airline alliance, which includes American Airlines, British Airways, and Cathay Pacific. Qantas will operate nonstop flights six days per week, using a Boeing 747-400 aircraft with 353 passenger seats, comprised of 14 First Class, 52 Business Class, 32 Premium Economy, and 255 Economy seats.


San Francisco International Airport

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 38 international cities on 32 international carriers. The Bay Area's largest airport connects non-stop with 78 cities in the U.S. on 15 domestic airlines. SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising.