It’s almost 12,000 kilometres from Sydney to San Francisco as the crow or in our case the Boeing 747-400 flies – a journey of 13 and a half hours.
But back when we launched our first trans-Pacific flight in May 1954 operating a Super Constellation from Sydney to San Fran (and onward to Vancouver) the flight took a whopping 27 hours via stops at Nadi and Honolulu.
And in July 1959, Qantas became the first non US airline to operate regular jet passenger services with the Boeing 707 – cementing San Francisco at the time as Qantas’ main hub in North America.
History was made again, when Qantas operated the Boeing 747-200B on services into San Francisco. It was an exciting time for the airline and we launched the arrival of the 747 with much fanfare.
Check out the TV ad which appears to be narrated by a Ron Burgundy-esque voice over artist and is accompanied by a mash up of a symphony orchestra crossed with a brass band. It concludes with a rising crescendo and a very odd tag line that will leave you scratching your head.
More than 40 years later – the Flying Kangaroo is today a regular sight at San Francisco with services restarting on December 18, 2015 – a date the city’s mayor described as Qantas Day.
Below is some go pro footage of our landing in SFO, a city which remains just as big and brash and beautiful as it always has been.
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