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Inaugural United Airlines Flight arrives in Brisbane

31 October 2022

United Airlines’ first Queensland flight has touched down in Brisbane, connecting US visitors to Queensland’s great holiday lifestyle and supporting up to 260 good Queensland jobs.

The inaugural three times weekly service from San Francisco was the first of six deals secured by Queensland’s $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund (AAIF) in partnership with the State’s four international airports.

The flight on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner brought more than 250 passengers who experienced a taste of Queensland’s world-famous hospitality when they boarded in San Francisco.

Passengers received a travel pack including uniquely Australian snacks, a plush koala and a koala patting experience at Brisbane’s Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

United Airlines, one of the world’s largest carriers, has never flown direct to Queensland, only to the southern capitals.

San Francisco is a major hub for United with connectivity to more than 80 North American destinations.

It is estimated the service will bring about 40,000 additional seats and inject about $27 million into state’s economy, supporting up to 260 direct and indirect jobs for Queenslanders in the first year.

Pre COVID-19 for the year to December 2019, the US was Queensland’s third largest market by visitation with 236,000 visitors spending about $419.2 million in overnight visitor expenditure.

On average these visitors would spend 10.7 days in Queensland.

The AAIF is estimated to assist in the delivery of up to 5.3 million airline seats a year generating almost $4 billion in overnight visitor expenditure (OVE).

So far, the fund has landed six deals boosting international arrivals to Queensland and other service proposals are under consideration.

As it stands today, just for the six deals signed already and based on their first-year forecasts, about 3000 good Queensland jobs will be supported. And we expect that will grow as more services are locked in.

For more information, visit https://www.dtis.qld.gov.au/tourism/aviation.