Qantas will today resume flights to New York, with services from Sydney taking off to the Big Apple for the first time in more than three years.
The launch of QF3 also marks a new route for the national carrier with flights to New York operating via Auckland instead of Los Angeles. Flights will initially operate three days per week with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, increasing to four from October, offering more than 1,800 seats on the route each week.
Travelling on the inaugural flight, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the airline was thrilled to be carrying Australians to New York once again.
“While the world has changed dramatically since the start of COVID, one thing that hasn’t changed is the lure of New York City,” said Mr Joyce.
“Since international borders re-opened, New York has been one of the most popular destinations for our customers who have been connecting on our partners from Qantas flights arriving into Los Angeles and Dallas, so it’s not surprising that we’ve seen very strong demand since our New York flights went on sale.
“The launch of the route has been made possible by the delivery of new 787 aircraft in recent weeks and brings us closer to returning our international capacity to what it was before COVID.”
The Qantas Group is expected to return to around 100 per cent of its international network pre-COVID capacity by March 2024, up from around 85 per cent of pre-COVID levels today. This is a significant increase from just 45 per cent 12 months ago.
“The flights are great news for Australian tourism, helping to bring more visitors from the United States to explore the best of New South Wales and beyond with connections from Sydney across our extensive domestic network,” added Mr Joyce.
“Flying via Auckland makes it easier for travellers from all parts of Australia to access New York, with the choice of 11 daily flights across the Tasman from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.
“Offering more room and fewer seats than most of our competitors, the cabins onboard these aircraft have been designed with long-haul travel in mind.”
Qantas now operates three of the top five longest flights in the world, including Perth-London and Dallas-Melbourne, as it increases its focus on direct routes that are also among its most popular. The airline’s Perth-London service has the highest customer satisfaction rating on its international network.
Teams across Qantas have been preparing for the launch, with an advanced cloud-based flight planning system that models flights paths, measuring flights times and winds, to determine the optimal route.
To celebrate the launch of the new route, Qantas has introduced a number of customer initiatives onboard QF3 and QF4, including limited edition pyjamas and amenity kits designed by Australian designer Rebecca Vallance for Business Class passengers and New York inspired menu items throughout the aircraft. Read more.
Qantas is also progressing plans for a major overhaul of its Auckland International Lounge as part of a $100 million investment in new and upgraded lounges. The lounge will offer more space and feature the best of local design, food and wine when it opens in mid-2024.
SYD-AKL Flight Time: 3 hours 5 mins
AKL-JFK Flight Time: 16 hours 15 mins
SYD-AKL-JFK Travel distance: 16,371 kilometres
Qantas’ Dreamliner carries 236 passengers across Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins in a layout that has been designed to maximise comfort for the longer distances.
- 42 Business suites in a 1-2-1 configuration with a fully-flat bed and direct aisle access
- 28 Premium Economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration
- 166 Economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration