Australian Airline to Return Service to SFO in December

For anyone planning a trip Down Under for the holidays or in the years to come, Australia’s oldest and largest airline will resume nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport and Sydney starting in December, airport officials announced today.

Qantas Airways will offer nonstop flights between SFO and Sydney Airport starting on Dec. 20. The airline plans to gradually build up to six flights per week beginning in January 2016.

Previously, Qantas had operated flights to and from SFO but ceased its operations there in May 2011.

The return of Qantas to SFO indicates that travel between San Francisco and Sydney is booming, city officials said.

“San Francisco is pleased to welcome the return of Qantas Airways to SFO, a clear sign of economic confidence in our Bay Area region,” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement. “The return of Qantas will strengthen the highly regarded sister city relationship between San Francisco and Sydney.”

According to the San Francisco Travel Association, Australian tourism is currently ranked seventh in international inbound markets to San Francisco. In 2014, Australian visitors spent more than $279 million in the city, a rate that is expected to grow this year.

Rachel Matsuoka, Bay City News

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