Qantas dumps San Francisco route, adds Dallas

Qantas will apply to the consumer watchdog for permission to co-ordinate its trans-Pacific operations with American Airlines, as it dumps direct flights to San Francisco in favour of Texas.

Dallas/Fort Worth, in Texas, is American Airlines largest hub airport.

Qantas said today it would begin direct flights to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) on May 16, after ending flights to San Francisco on May 14.

The Dallas/Fort Worth service would provide Qantas with access to American Airlines regional network, meaning it could offer codeshare services to another 13 destinations in the US and three in Mexico.

Qantas said it would operate four times a week direct from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth starting May 16, using a three-class Boeing 747.

The return leg will fly through Brisbane.

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, in Texas, is the eighth busiest airport in the world based on passenger traffic figures from 2009. It was American Airlines' largest hub city, Qantas said.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the new services were part of an expanded commercial relationship with American Airlines.

"It will connect Qantas customers to one of the USA's major hub airports, benefitting both business and leisure travellers," Mr Joyce said in a statement.

Qantas said it would seek Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approval for the two airlines to coordinate operations between Australia/New Zealand and the US.

"It will give Qantas a stronger and more balanced network footprint in the United States and provide more choice and convenience for travellers," Qantas said.

The new alliance would provide a "joint platform for the airlines to offer a daily service between Australia and Dallas/Fort Worth", Qantas said.

The ACCC last year approved Virgin Blue's alliance with US-based Delta Air Lines on trans-Pacific services, but the tie-up was awaiting a final decision from the US Department of Transportation.

Qantas said it would stop flying to San Francisco, but the city would remain part of the airline's network as a codeshare destination.

AAP

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