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Qantas celebrates 60 years across the Pacific

written by WOFA | May 16, 2014

A file image of a Qantas A380 departing LAX. (Rob Finlayson)
Qantas operates the A380 on trans Pacific services to LAX. (Rob Finlayson)

Qantas this week is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its commencement of first trans-Pacific services between Australia and the USA.

The first service – on May 15 1954 – was operated by a Lockheed Super Constellation which flew from Sydney to San Francisco via Fiji, Canton Island and Hawaii, before proceeding on to Vancouver. The flight took about 30 flying hours compared to less than half that today.

The trans-Pacific route is named the Southern Cross Route in honour of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew’s famous aircraft which first crossed the Pacific in 1928.

“Qantas is proud of its flying history to the US. Some of our most historic moments have been on the trans-Pacific route including the start of the jet age in 1959 with our first Boeing 707 services and introducing the largest commercial passenger aircraft, the A380, on the route in 2008,” Qantas International CEO Simon Hickey said. “The milestone comes in a year where Qantas is investing significantly in the customer experience to the US, including the opening of our new First and Business Lounges in Los Angeles and the introduction of A380 services between Sydney and Dallas from September.”

Today, Qantas operates daily A380 services Sydney-Los Angeles (QF11/12) and Melbourne-Los Angeles (QF94/95), a daily 747-400 Sydney-LA-New York service (QF107/108), daily Brisbane-Los Angeles 747-400 flights (QF15/16), a daily 747-400ER service between Sydney and Dallas-Fort Worth, returning via Brisbane (QF7/8), and three flights a week between Sydney and Honolulu using 767-300ERs (QF3/4).

The Sydney-Dallas-Fort Worth service is due to be up-gauged to a six-times-a-week A380 from September 29 with the return Brisbane stop to be dropped.


  • GlenCBR


    Shame Qantas doesn’t still fly to/from San Francisco or Vancouver and even a few more north American points. I suppose it’s the same for passengers on foreign airlines which fly only to Sydney – lots of connections to get somewhere interesting.

  • Glen


    It is way of the world now hard to fly to many places direct so much code sharing going on. For me to fly Delta to Seattle I am flying with Air NZ from WLG to BRN the Virgin Aus to LAX then change to Delta for the last leg to Seattle

  • John Harrison


    Nice to see Qantas have something good to celebrate for a change. Well done, its just a shame they (Qantas) dropped SFO. It was for so many years one of their main USA ports. Still I guess they have to go where the money is these days. I look forward to flying with QF next year to USA, now do I go B747-438 or AB380. I guess
    it will all be down to depart times from SYD and arrival times into LAX.
    Well Done again for 60 years of Pacific flying.

  • Aubrey Adams


    Sad that QF isn’t as innovative and pioneering with their routes and destinations today as they were back then. Their financials may be somewhat in better shape if they were.

  • Ronald


    Pity QANTAS hasn’t invited the HARS Connie to help celebrate the anniversary since it was this aircraft type which commenced the service.

  • Geoff


    The photo’s caption seems wrong. The flaps are extended for landing.

    • australianaviation.com.au


      Thanks Geoff, caption has been amended.

  • Stuart Lawrence


    What about Qantas buying 777 to fly to SFO or have a seasonal flight to SFO and to Vancover

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