American Increases South Pacific Network With Farthest Nonstop Route

American 787-9 at LAX

American Airlines is extending its South Pacific network with the launch of flights to Brisbane during the winter 2024-25 season, one of two new long-haul routes being opened from its Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) hub.

The planned Brisbane service increases the Oneworld alliance member’s route map to three cities in Australia and New Zealand, complementing existing flights to Sydney and Auckland. Daily year-round flights are currently offered from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney, as well as seasonally from DFW and LAX to Auckland.

Operations between DFW and Brisbane Airport (BNE) are scheduled to commence on Oct. 27, utilizing Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The daily seasonal service, covering a distance of 8,338 mi. (7,246 nm), will mark the farthest nonstop route offered by American. This surpasses the existing Los Angeles-Sydney flights, which cover 7,491 mi. (6,510 nm).

The new flights are the latest U.S. route success for Brisbane since the pandemic. After losing direct links to Honolulu with Hawaiian Airlines and to LAX with Virgin Australia at the onset of the crisis, Qantas resumed scheduled BNE-LAX flights in April 2022 and United Airlines has since opened two new routes.

United commenced operations from San Francisco (SFO) in October 2022, followed by seasonal flights from LAX in November 2023. The move came after the Star Alliance member signed a codeshare partnership with Virgin Australia in late 2021, replacing a Virgin Australia-Delta Air Lines alliance that had existed for more than a decade.

Brian Znotins, American’s senior vice president of network and schedule planning, says the expansion to Brisbane means the carrier and joint-venture partner Qantas will now offer “one of the most comprehensive networks” connecting the U.S. and South Pacific. OAG Schedules Analyser data shows Qantas offers nine routes to the U.S. at present, including two nonstop routes to DFW from Melbourne and Sydney.

Overall, American and Qantas currently provide almost 40,000 two-way weekly seats between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand, giving the Oneworld members a combined 32.9% capacity share of the market. United has a 31.3% share, with Air New Zealand at 17.5%, and Delta 11%.

Alongside the DFW-BNE plans, American intends to resume earlier seasonal flights between Los Angeles and Auckland, restarting on Dec. 5 using 787-9s. Daily service initially began on Dec. 20, 2023.

Elsewhere, American will launch a seasonal daily route between DFW and Rio de Janeiro-Galeão (GIG) from Oct. 27 using 787-8s, joining existing service from Miami and expanded service from New York John F. Kennedy. The route marks a resumption given the carrier served the sector regularly until February 2015 and again for a limited time during winter 2017-18.

Other winter 2024-25 network changes will see American inaugurate flights from DFW to Veracruz, Mexico, with daily operations from June 12 onboard Embraer E175. It is also increasing frequencies from DFW to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, starting in June. Daily flights between DFW and Kona, Hawaii, will also return on Oct. 27, joining the airline’s routes to Honolulu and Kahului. 

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.