Tourism Boost: New flights between the USA and Brisbane

New flights from Los Angeles + daily services from San Francisco


Brisbane Airport’s (BNE) international flight capacity received a major boost today with the announcement that United Airlines will commence brand new non-stop services from Los Angeles (LAX) later this year, while ramping up its popular three-per-week service from San Francisco (SFO) to a daily schedule.

 The deal struck between Brisbane Airport Corporation, United Airlines and the Queensland Government means the world’s largest carrier will more than triple the number of United flights between the US and Brisbane, just six months after the airline commenced its first ever services to the State.

 United Airlines Northern Winter Schedule released today, will see the airline operate 10 services a week between the US and Brisbane by 1 December 2023.

 According to Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff these new services will turbo charge tourism and trade opportunities right across the country.

“Brisbane Airport is the gateway to Australia, offering 24/7 operations and direct connections to 53 domestic destinations, more than any other airport in the country,’ he said.

“As Brisbane Airport welcomes more than 75% of all international arrivals into Queensland, partnering with United to increase SFO frequencies and add new non-stop LAX services is terrific news for tourism and hospitality businesses from Coolangatta to the Cape.

Mr de Graaff said “these new, and more frequent services are great news for jobs and the economy, and offer Queenslanders even more direct connections to United Airlines extensive network across North America.” 

“Queensland exporters will also welcome the significant additional cargo capacity that comes with increasing the number of international flights to our state.”

“For example, the inaugural United Airlines flight from Brisbane to San Francisco wasn’t just filled with passengers, it carried more than 15 tonnes of high-quality refrigerated Queensland beef bound for US dining tables, generating welcome export dollars and returns for the State’s farming communities’.

“My team and I always knew a partnership with United Airlines and the State Government would be good for Queensland. Our plan to attract United to Brisbane for the first time was ambitious and started at the end of October 2022 with a three-per-week service from San Francisco.” said Mr de Graaff.

 Mr de Graaff, a 30-year international aviation veteran, said he always had faith that United’s SFO to BNE three-per-week service could grow to daily within twelve months.

 “To be announcing six months after the first United flight arrival from San Francisco that it’s already going daily, and that LA is now on Brisbane’s schedule is just mind blowing. It’s better than anything I could have ever predicted in this current global environment” he said.

 Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the United States is one of Queensland’s top five source countries for visitors and growing.

 “Our strong trans-Pacific partnership with United and Brisbane Airport is behind the airlines’ decision to fly direct from Los Angeles for the first time from December.

 “Extra San Francisco services and the new LA flights give US travellers more opportunity to escape the northern hemisphere’s winter and enjoy Queensland’s great lifestyle.

 “This is great news for Queensland tourism operators and the rebuild of our international visitor economy,” said Minister Hinchliffe.   

United Airlines is also thrilled with the additional flights into Brisbane later this year.

“Last year, United became the only airline to offer a direct flight between San Francisco and Brisbane. Now, this upcoming northern winter, we will expand even further to offer daily flights from San Francisco and a new direct flight from Los Angeles,” said Patrick Quayle, United Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances.

“Our enhanced network will make United the largest carrier between the US and Brisbane and provide unparalleled access and connectivity for travellers.”

During her first official visit to Queensland as United States Ambassador to Australia, Caroline Kennedy said:This is a great result for Queensland and such an important investment by United Airlines in Australia.”

“They know what so many Americans know, that Queensland is unique in the world and a destination of choice. Americans love coming to Australia because of the wonderful people, the rich cultural heritage, and the incredible landscapes.

“This announcement is a sign of our ever-growing economic relationship and the enormous flow of students, business people, researchers and workers between Australia and the United States.” said Ambassador Kennedy.  

Daily services between SFO and BNE commence 29 October 2023, with three-per-week LAX to BNE starting on 1 December 2023.

Brisbane Airport Corporation Media Contact: Stephen Beckett on telephone 0466 322485.