Qantas launches first-ever Melbourne-San Francisco belly flight

Qantas started the first ever direct belly flight between Melbourne and San Francisco on Friday (31 August).

The carrier will operate four return flights per week on the route with the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Qantas now operates 13 return direct flights from Melbourne and the US each week, including six direct flights per week between Sydney and San Francisco.

Qantas International chief executive officer (CEO), Alison Webster said the direct flights would connect the Silicon Valley with Melbourne’s growing start-up industry.

The Australian carrier has also launched its first international Dreamliner flights from Queensland this weekend with a daily service from Brisbane to Los Angeles and onwards to New York.

Four of the national carrier’s new Boeing 787-9s will be based in Brisbane, as the state-of-the-art aircraft gradually replaces the 747 on key routes. Dreamliner services from Brisbane to Hong Kong will start in December, with other destinations to follow.

He added: “There are a number of new destinations we’re considering for new direct services from Brisbane, including Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco in the US, as well as Vancouver and cities in Asia.”

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff, said this weekend’s launch will open up a new world of opportunities in the tourism, trade, investment, business and education sectors for many years to come.