Qantas has delayed the resumption of its nonstop route from Sydney to San Francisco.
The international service, which was supposed to resume in October following many delays, has now been pushed back another six months to March 2023.
While Qantas declined to comment on the fourth delay to the popular route, the airline’s timetable currently indicates Sydney-San Francisco flights are no longer available until 27 March 2023 – a full three years after Qantas suspended all international flights in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Even that date should be regarded as provisional: 27 March represents the start of the ‘northern summer’ scheduling period used by airlines worldwide, so although this might be the relaunch date, it could equally just be a simple and logical filler.
What is the reason for the delay? The most likely cause of the delay is a lack of aeroplanes to fly long-haul flights.
Only half of Qantas’ 10 A380s have returned to service, with the remaining five scheduled to return in December 2023 after interior upgrades and maintenance. Its Dreamliners are also needed for flights to Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth, the latter of which will begin service from Melbourne in December, as well as Perth-London and Sydney-Johannesburg routes.
Qantas is expected to receive three additional Boeing 787-9s by the end of June 2023, but if the airline does not see any more Dreamliners in the hangar by March, the San Francisco service could be delayed yet again.
For the time being, Qantas is sticking with Los Angeles as its primary west coast hub, with several flights each week.
However, given the time and hassle required in transiting at LAX – a procedure that takes at least twice as long as the trip to San Francisco itself – competitor United Airlines’ direct Sydney-San Francisco route will undoubtedly be the better option most travellers.
Qantas is progressively rebuilding and expanding its international network, including new routes such as Sydney-Seoul and Sydney-Bengaluru. The service from Sydney to New York through Auckland will begin in June next year.
Source: Executive Traveller