June 10, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

Brisbane will be better connected to the USA for conferences, incentives and corporate meetings from October with United Airlines to fly three new weekly services between San Francisco and the Queensland capital.

It’s the first new transpacific route for a US airline since the pandemic began and is being rolled out thanks to support from the Queensland Government’s $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, which aims to rebuild aviation capacity to Queensland as the world reopens following the lockdowns and travel restrictions of the first two years of the pandemic.

The new year-round route will deliver an additional 40,000 international airline seats to Brisbane each year and is expected to deliver $73 million to the Queensland economy.

“We’re aggressively pursuing new direct flights to our key tourism destinations to drive visitation and support local jobs,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in the announcement of the new route.

“United has never flown to Queensland. The airline has more than 100 million loyalty members and is the largest and longest-serving US carrier in the Australian market.

“This airline route is also of strategic importance for Queensland when it comes to growing our share of the international tourism market.

“San Francisco is a major hub for United with direct connectivity to 80 North American cities.”

Queensland’s Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the state’s aviation fund was the largest in Australia. New South Wales has a similar $60 million fund to attract more aviation to Sydney.

Senior vice president of international network and alliances at United, Patrick Quayle, said it was an ideal time to expand the airline’s services to Brisbane as travel demanded continued to increase.

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve looked for strategic ways to grow our international network, and we’re proud to be the first U.S. airline to put a new dot on our route map across the Pacific to show our sustained commitment to the region as it recovers,” he said.