American Airlines is getting a little closer down under.
On Tuesday, American and Qantas Airways announced the two carriers would expand their joint business agreement. As part of the announcement, American said it will begin flying nonstop from Los Angeles to Sydney in December.
“With both the U.S and Australian economies growing, we’ve seen strong demand for travel between the two regions,” said American chief executive Doug Parker.
American will use a three-class Boeing 777-300ER with 310 seats on the Los Angeles-Sydney route. The Fort Worth-based carrier last operated flights to Sydney in the early 1990s but that included a stop in Honolulu.
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Qantas also announced on Tuesday it will reenter the Sydney-San Francisco route. The Australian carrier had stopped service on that route when it launched its service to Dallas/Fort Worth in 2011. Currently, Qantas flies and A380 from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth airport six times a week, often bringing in connecting passengers to American’s hub at DFW.
With the new flights, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said he believes they will be able to grow the trans-Pacific passenger traffic by 9 percent.
The closer business agreement, pending regulatory approval, will provide more revenue-sharing opportunities for the two airlines and a better customer experience on routes between the U.S. and the South Pacific region, the airlines said. Both carriers are a member of the Oneworld alliance.