UNITED Airlines has announced its largest expansion in Australia and the South Pacific in its history, adding 40% more flights from the US to the region in the southern summer.
New flights from Los Angeles to Brisbane will see United become the largest carrier between the US and Brisbane, with three weekly frequencies to fly the route from 29 November.
The flights will complement United’s new services between Brisbane and San Francisco, which will go daily from 28 October, in addition to SYD-SFO going twice daily.
United will also fly its largest aircraft type to Melbourne from San Francisco, with its Boeing 777-300ER to add nearly 100 daily seats to each departure.
The expansion will see United serve more destinations in the region than all other American carriers combined.
United will also add a new non-stop service to Christchurch from San Francisco and to Auckland from Brisbane.
Brisbane Airport Corporation Chief Executive Officer Gert-Jan de Graaf said United’s new services to BNE will turbocharge tourism across Australia, not just in the Queensland capital.
“[BNE] 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.
“As Brisbane Airport welcomes more than 75% of all international arrivals into Queensland, partnering with United to increase SFO frequencies and add new non-stop LAX services is terrific news for tourism and hospitality businesses from Coolangatta to the Cape.
“These new, and more frequent services…offer Queenslanders even more direct connections to United Airlines extensive network across North America.”
Queensland’s Minister for Tourism Stirling Hinchliffe said the US is one of the state’s top five source countries for visitors.
“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 from December,” he said.
“Extra San Francisco services and the new LA flights give US travellers more opportunity to escape the northern hemisphere’s winter and enjoy Queensland’s great lifestyle.
“This is great news for Queensland tourism operators and the rebuild of our international visitor economy.”