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CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), Qantas Airlines and American Airlines today announced new, nonstop international service from O’Hare International Airport to Brisbane – the largest city and capital of the Australian state of Queensland. It is the twelfth international route O’Hare has added in 2019, and the first-ever direct flight to Brisbane from Chicago. The service will begin on April 20, 2020, operating four times per week with Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, and is anticipated to be the fourth-longest scheduled passenger flight in the world at approximately 16 hours and 20 minutes.
“We are excited to welcome and celebrate Qantas as our newest airline partner at O'Hare,” CDA Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee said. “This historic route – among the longest scheduled commercial flights in the world – will open up new opportunities for engagement and enrichment with Australia and its neighbors, and provide economic and cultural benefits for years to come. Congratulations to American Airlines and Qantas for their partnership, and thank you for helping to further establish O'Hare as the best-connected airport in the United States.”
The new service will open up opportunities for Chicago travelers to experience Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city and the gateway to some of the country’s most spectacular coastlines – including the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and the Great Barrier Reef. It will also provide opportunities for Qantas passengers to discover Chicago, as well as convenient connections to other Midwest and Northeast destinations including Boston, Toronto, Washington, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Montreal. This route will reduce travel time for Qantas and partner American Airlines customers by more than six hours on a round-trip.
“Ever since we took delivery of our first Dreamliner, we’ve wanted to take advantage of the aircraft’s extended range to launch a new service to Chicago,” said Qantas International Acting CEO Naren Kumar. “The new service will also benefit business travelers and holidaymakers from Australia, providing a seamless connection to Chicago, one of the key centers of commerce, industry and culture in the United States. I’d like to acknowledge the support of the City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Aviation for helping to make this new route possible.”
The flight number, QF85/86, pays homage to the 1985 Chicago Bears football team, winners of the 1986 Super Bowl and widely regarded as one of the best teams in National Football League history.
“As Chicago’s airline of choice, I’m honored to welcome Qantas to join us at O’Hare airport as we make history together in offering the first-ever, nonstop flight from Chicago to Australia,” said American Airlines Vice President Franco Tedeschi. “We look forward to the benefits that come from this partnership to our collective customers and team members and value the opportunity to lead the industry in connecting the American Midwest to Australia and its neighbors.”
Fares are available now via qantas.com.
Attracting new international air services to both O’Hare and Midway International Airports is a key priority at CDA. In addition to generating historic levels of economic activity and tourism for the City and the region, new services to regions around the world have propelled O’Hare as the best-connected hub in the U.S. for three years in a row and second most-connected in the world.
Chicago’s air connectivity stands to thrive further going forward with a modernized airfield and an $8.5 billion plan by the City and the airlines to set the stage for O’Hare’s biggest terminal expansion yet. The O’Hare 21 project is designed to modernize facilities, deliver more gates, new passenger amenities, more economic opportunity for the City of Chicago and keep travelers worldwide connected to Chicago.