As everyone knows, United Airlines purchased Pan Am’s Pacific Division for $750 million in 1985. That included aircraft, pilots and all the ground staff at the various stations, essentially a turn key operation. Services to Australia, New Zealand and more were all part of this transaction.

Since the Pacific Division was one of the most profitable parts of Pan Am, the money United spent was arguably one of the best investments the airline ever made. It was also perhaps the most stupidly short sighted decision by Pan Am, contributing to that airline’s demise in 1991.

Services to Australia

From the Winter season in 2023, United is expanding its services to Australia. San Francisco to Sydney will go twice daily, using the Boeing 777-300ER. UA829 will depart SFO at 8pm, arriving at 6:20am two days later, while UA863 will leave at 10:45pm, landing at 9:05am two days later (that pesky International Date Line, you know!).

In addition to the two Sydney services, you can fly to Melbourne on a daily 777-300ER, leaving at 11pm and arriving at 10am plus two on UA60. There will also be a thrice weekly flight to Brisbane using the Boeing 787-9. That is UA96, departing 11:20pm, arriving 7:30+2. San Francisco is full of flights to Australia it seems!

That’s not all though. You can also fly to both Sydney and Melbourne daily from Los Angeles on the Boeing 787-9. UA839 heads to Sydney at 10:55pm, landing in Australia at 9:15+2. To Melbourne sees UA98 departing at 10:40pm, arriving at 9:30am two days later.

But wait, there’s more! A much longer flight is the non-stop from Houston to Sydney. The daily UA101 leaves Texas at 8:15pm and after a 17 hour and 45 minute flight in a Boeing 787-9, arrives in Sydney at 7am – two days later, of course!

Overall Thoughts

United is really making hay while the sun shines on its services to Australia. There is a lot of demand, prices are high and why not capitalise on that?

San Francisco is really positioned well as a hub for flights to Australia by the Star Alliance carrier. It must also be interesting on the Australia side when all the flights from the US start arriving.

Are you planning to fly on one of the United services to Australia anytime soon? What about that very long Houston flight? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Bill Abbott via Wikimedia Commons
Boeing 777-300ER by Alan Wilson via Wikimedia Commons.