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May 16, 2011

Qantas arrives at D/FW and brings John Travolta along

2011-05-16_13-32-08_437 With its red tail and white kangaroo, Qantas Airways pulled into Dallas/Fort Worth Airport’s Terminal D for the first time on Monday.

The Australian carrier, who is also part of American Airlines’ Oneworld alliance, will fly a Boeing 747-400 four times a week from Sydney to D/FW Because of headwinds, the return flight stops in Brisbane before continuing on to Sydney

“Qantas opens up a whole new part of the globe for our passengers from North Texas,” said D/FW Airport chief executive Jeff Fegan, noting that the new service will generate about $130 million in economic impact for the region.

The airport is giving Qantas $3.1 million in incentives over two years to help the carrier launch its new service. The incentives will give Qantas a rebate on their landing fees and terminal charges as well as provide marketing for the new flights.

“This one is actually going to be a game changer for us,” said Qantas senior executive vice president Wally Mariani, adding that the carrier is able to add “over 100 new connections available by flying into this particular airport.”

Last week, American and Qantas announced plans for a joint business agreement, pending government approval. If the agreement is approved by U.S., Australian and New Zealand regulators, the carriers would be able to closely schedule, market and operate flights between the three countries as well as share expenses and revenues on those routes.

American Airlines sales vice president Derek DeCross declined to discuss any financial figures related to the joint business agreement.

2011-05-16_14-58-53_376  “We’re trying to make it easier for our customers to have better connections and a wider range of fares,” DeCross said of the potential venture.

While the 15 hour and 25 minute flight from Sydney to D/FW is the longest scheduled passenger service for the Boeing 747, it is not the longest regularly scheduled passenger flight. That distinction belongs to the Singapore Airlines flight from Newark to Singapore that is over 18 hours and uses an Airbus 340-500 aircraft.

The Australian carrier did not bring along any kangaroos or koalas for the inaugural flight but its pilot ambassador, John Travolta, was on hand to celebrate the new service.

“[The Midwest has] a new hub to get to Australia,” said Travolta, who dropped in a “yeehaw” and “y’all” during his remarks. “It’s going to be Dallas.”

 

-Andrea Ahles

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Comments

AirBoss

Nice touch, the sheep dip on arrival.

Mike B. Magbaleta

Goodbye San Francisco, hello Dallas/Fort Worth! Anyways, maybe a stop in Texas before heading to Australia for all that excellent food and BBQ is worth it!

CAT

did you say excellent? the food in texas is the worst i,ve ever eaten . the bbq is nothing but overcooked meat with raw bbq sauce over it.

John S

Texas is getting lots of new service down under. United/Continental is launching IAH-AKL later this year.

Good to see our nonstop options expanding. I'm surprised Qantas couldn't compete with United effectively in San Francisco.

rick71

The food in Texas is the best, and it's definitely worth the stop!

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