International flight capacity at Brisbane Airport (BNE) received a major boost today with the announcement that United Airlines will launch brand new direct services from Los Angeles (LAX) later this year, while increasing its popular thrice-weekly service from San Francisco (SFO) to daily schedule.
The deal between Brisbane Airport Corporation, United Airlines and the Queensland Government means the world’s largest carrier will more than triple the number of United flights between the US and Brisbane, just six months after the airline launched its first services to the state.
United Airlines’ northern winter timetable, published today, sees the airline operate 10 services a week between the US and Brisbane until 1 December 2023.
According to Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaf these new services will boost turbo and commercial opportunities across the country.
“Brisbane Airport is the gateway to Australia, offering 24/7 operations and direct connections to 53 domestic destinations, more than any other airport in the country,” he said.
“With Brisbane Airport welcoming more than 75% of all international arrivals to Queensland, partnering with United to increase SFO frequencies and add new 24/7 LAX services is great news for the tourism and hospitality business from Coolangatta to the Cape.
Mr de Graaf said “these new and more frequent services are great news for jobs and the economy and offer Queenslanders even more direct links to United Airlines’ extensive North American network.”
“Queensland exporters will also welcome the significant additional cargo capacity that comes with the increase in the number of international flights to our state.”
“For example, United Airlines’ inaugural flight from Brisbane to San Francisco wasn’t just packed with passengers, it carried more than 15 tonnes of high-quality chilled Queensland beef destined for US dinner tables, generating welcome export dollars and returns for the state’s agricultural communities’.
“My team and I have always known that a partnership with United Airlines and the State Government would be good for Queensland. Our plan to bring United to Brisbane for the first time was ambitious and began in late October 2022 with a three times weekly service from San Francisco,” Mr de Graaf said.
Mr de Graaf, a 30-year veteran of international aviation, said he always believed United’s three-times-weekly SFO service to BNE could grow to daily within twelve months.
“To announce six months after United’s first flight from San Francisco that it is now running daily and that Los Angeles is now on Brisbane’s schedule is simply amazing. This is better than anything I could have predicted in the current global environment,” he said.
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the United States was one of Queensland’s top five source countries for visitors and growth.
“Our strong trans-Pacific partnership with United and Brisbane Airport is behind the airlines decision to fly direct from Los Angeles for the first time since December.
“Additional services to San Francisco and new flights to Los Angeles give US travelers more opportunity to escape the Northern Hemisphere winter and enjoy the great Queensland lifestyle.
“This is great news for tourism operators in Queensland and for the recovery of our international visitor economy,” Minister Hinchliffe said.
United Airlines is also excited about additional flights to Brisbane later this year.
“Last year United became the only airline to offer a direct flight between San Francisco and Brisbane. Now, this coming northern winter, we will expand even further to offer daily flights from San Francisco and a new direct flight from Los Angeles,” said Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of global network planning and alliances at United Airlines.
“Our enhanced network will make United the largest carrier between the US and Brisbane and provide unparalleled access and connectivity for passengers.”
During his first official visit to Queensland as United States Ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy said: “This is a great result for Queensland and such an important investment by United Airlines in Australia.”
“They know what so many Americans know, that Queensland is unique in the world and a preferred destination. Americans love coming to Australia for the wonderful people, rich cultural heritage and amazing scenery.
“This announcement is a sign of our ever-growing economic relationship and the tremendous flow of students, business people, researchers and workers between Australia and the United States,” Ambassador Kennedy said.
Daily service between SFO and BNE begins on October 29, 2023, with three times weekly LAX to BNE beginning on December 1, 2023.
Brisbane Airport Corporation Media Contact: Stephen Beckett on 0466 322485.