Passengers travelling with Qantas can now book non-stop flights between Brisbane and  Chicago, as well as between Brisbane and San Francisco.

The Australian flag carrier announced today that tickets are now available for purchase.

The new routes will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific in June that the seating configuration will be 42 seats in business class in a 1-2-1 configuration, 28 in premium economy class in a 2-3-2 configuration, and 166 economy class seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

The announcement follows the US Department of Transportation’s (DoT) final approval of Qantas’ joint-venture partnership with American Airlines last Friday. Plans to launch the new flights were announced last month, after the DoT granted “tentative approval” of the joint business agreement between Qantas and American Airlines.

The San Francisco flights will begin on February 9 next year and operate three times per week, while the Chicago flights will begin on April 20 2020, operating four times per week.

Here is a schedule for the new flights, which is subject to government and regulatory approvals, according to the airline:

Flight no.  Route  Departure time  Arrival time  Days  Aircraft  Flight duration 
QF85  Brisbane-Chicago  15:30  16:40  Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat  787-9  16h20 
QF86  Chicago-Brisbane  21:50  06:10 (+2)  Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat  787-9  17h20 
QF59  Brisbane-San Francisco  20:35  15:15  Tue, Thu, Sun  787-9  12h40 
QF60  San Francisco-Brisbane  22:15  06:00 (+2)  Tue, Thu, Sun  787-9  13h45 

Qantas currently operates daily Sydney-San Francisco services, and flies four times a week from Melbourne directly to San Francisco. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will also be deployed on the carrier’s Sydney-San Francisco service beginning December 4 this year, taking over the route from the B747-400. On the other hand, its Melbourne-San Francisco route has been operated by the Boeing 787-9 since it was launched in 2018.

The 14,326km flight from Brisbane to Chicago will be the fourth longest in the world, and the second longest flight on Qantas’ network, and take approximately 16 hours and 20 minutes (depending on winds), according to Qantas.

“This is the first time Australians will have a direct link to Chicago, the third-largest US city. We expect the flights will be popular with corporate travellers looking to do business there, but also with tourists wanting to experience some of the culture and history that Chicago is famous for,” said Qantas international acting CEO Naren Kumar in a press release posted on the airline’s website.

The new flights will also open up access to destinations across American Airlines’ network including to Canada and the Northeastern United States, according to Qantas.

Tickets are now available for purchase via the Qantas website or through travel agents starting from today.

Qantas is currently holding a sale with return economy fares from Brisbane to Chicago starting from AUD 1,299 (US$905), and return economy fares from Brisbane to San Francisco starting from AUD 999 (US$696).

Qantas also said it would increase flights between Brisbane and Los Angeles from ten to thirteen per week between January 2 to February 8 2020, according to the airline. These flights are currently operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Qantas also expanded its International Brisbane Lounge this year by adding a third floor and increasing overall space by 25 per cent.