Australian airline Qantas has started flying the very first non-stop service between San Francisco and Melbourne. These flights are four times per week on the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
San Francisco was the destination of the very first Qantas jet services back in 1959, served from Sydney via Nadi and Honolulu. The new service means passengers in Australia’s second largest city can now fly without connecting.
San Francisco Flight Times
In recognition of the California Gold Rush of 1849 and the San Francisco 49ers in American Football, the flight numbers are QF49 to San Francisco and QF50 returning to Melbourne.
Flights depart Melbourne at 21:40 on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, arriving in San Francisco at 19:00 the same day. Return services leave on the same days at 22:00, landing in Melbourne at 06:30 two days later.
Other San Francisco Flights to Australia
Qantas also operates flights from Sydney to San Francisco six times per week using the Boeing 747-400. These aircraft are due to be retired in 2020, so now is the time to get on board before they are gone for good.
United Airlines use their Boeing 787-9 on their route from Sydney, which has their latest on board product. Pan Am originally operated these services until they sold the route to United in the 1980s.
Passengers from Melbourne have long had to connect in Sydney to get across the Pacific to SFO. Clearly the time has come for them to get their own flights and hopefully these will do well.
Once again the economics of the Boeing 787 mean that long routes with lower passenger counts are now becoming viable. Qantas’ decision to retire the 747-400s early in favour of more Dreamliners is very telling in this situation.
Have you flown the long flight across the Pacific between the USA and Australia? How was it? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Mark A Harris via Airliners.net