Qantas plans Melbourne to San Francisco 787 flights

Qantas 787-9 VH-ZNB has been named ‘Waltzing Matilda’. (Victor Pody)

Qantas has announced that it is introducing a new route to be operated by the Dreamliner, with flights between Melbourne and San Francisco due to begin by late 2018.

The route announcement came as Qantas revealed that its second Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft has been named Waltzing Matilda, ahead of the type’s first scheduled international flight to Los Angeles on Friday.

The new route will be on sale from early next year. Capacity between Melbourne and the US will be rebalanced, Qantas stated, meaning that the Dreamliner will fly to Los Angeles on some days of the week and to San Francisco on other days.

“A significant number of our Melbourne passengers flying to Los Angeles already connect on to San Francisco,” said Qantas International CEO Alison Webster.

“We also see strong demand from San Francisco, both from a tourism perspective and because of the business links between Melbourne and Silicon Valley.”

The delivery of the airline’s second 787-9, VH-ZNB, earlier this week, has allowed Qantas to begin six times weekly Melbourne-LA services with the aircraft. The first 787-operated Melboune-LAX flight, QF95, was due to depart Melbourne at 1425 on Friday.

“The Melbourne-Los Angeles flight was the first international service that we put our very first Airbus A380 on in 2008, so there’s a nice symmetry with this being the first for our Dreamliner as well,” said Webster.

VH-ZNB Waltzing Matilda. (Qantas)