DALLAS – After a three-year break, Qantas (QF) has relaunched its flights to New York (JFK) from Sydney (SYD) via Auckland (AKL).
Operated by one of the carriers Boeing 787-9s, flight QF3 departed SYD earlier today, June 14. The route will initially be served thrice weekly, increasing to four from October. The Dreamliner is configured in a three-class cabin with 42 business-class, 28 premium-economy and 166 economy-class seats.
QF CEO Alan Joyce said, “While the world has changed dramatically since the start of COVID, one thing that hasn’t changed is the lure of New York City. 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.”
Previously, the flight was routed via Los Angeles (LAX). The switch to AKL brings the airline into direct competition with Air New Zealand (NZ), which relaunched its non-stop service from AKL to JFK in September 2022.
Discussing the route switch, Joyce added, “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 has been watching closely rival NZ’s return to the Big Apple and the issues that impacted the ultra-long-haul flight. Air New Zealand’s flagship service has faced headwinds that have led to passengers and/or luggage being left behind or the flight having to refuel in Fiji.
In an official statement by QF, the Australian flag carrier said, ‘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.’
Featured Image: Qantas 787-9 (VH-ZND). Photo: Michal Mendyk/Airways.