United Airlines has announced plans to resume flights between San Francisco and Melbourne.
From June the carrier will offer three nonstop flights per week between the two cities.
United launched the San Francisco-Melbourne route in October 2019, but it only operated for a matter of months before being suspended as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The route will join United’s existing service between Sydney and the carrier’s hubs in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The airline also highlighted that it will be the only US carrier offering nonstop flights between Melbourne and the US – Qantas flies from Melbourne to both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and is set to add a new route to Dallas in December 2022.
United said it had experienced “remarkable growth in travel demand” for flights to Australia since the country announced plans to reopen it borders earlier this year, adding that it had worked closely with the Victorian government on the resumption of the San Francisco-Melbourne service, as well as on broader plans for the market “as demand continues to grow”.
Commenting on the news Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of international network and alliances at United, said:
“The fact that we retained daily passenger service to Australia throughout the lowest points of the pandemic – and were the only airline to do so – shows our commitment to Australia.
“We are thrilled to resume our San Francisco to Melbourne service and see a bright future ahead for United, for Melbourne and for US-Australia travel.”