Delta Air Lines launches new route between Brisbane and Los Angeles in move that could slash ticket prices

A major US airline’s decision to begin flying to a second Australian city has raised hopes of more competition and lower prices for flyers. 

Delta Air Lines has announced that beginning on December 4 it will operate a thrice weekly service of its four-class Airbus A350-900 from Los Angeles to Brisbane and back.

The carrier has been lured to Queensland by the state government offering $200 million out of its attracting aviation investment fund in a move that is expected to bring up to 114,000 visitors who are estimated to spend up to $208 million.

Major US carrier Delta Airlines has announced it will begin flying Los Angeles to Brisbane and back in December

While initially the flights have only been scheduled to March 25, there are hopes the route will prove commercially viable and lead to permanent daily departures. 

The major US airline already operates a flight from LA to Sydney.

With United and American Airlines already operating Brisbane to LA flights, it means the three biggest US carriers will compete on the route along with Qantas.

Air Canada also flies out of Brisbane to north America. 

It is hoped the increased international competition will lead to more competition locally and reduced ticket prices. 

Delta Air Lines Senior Vice President of Network Planning Joe Esposito said the new route was an exciting one.

Deputy Premier and Trade Minister Cameron Dick said the deal would bring plenty of Americans to the Sunshine State.

‘We know Americans love to escape the freezing North American winter and enjoy Queensland’s beautiful weather, beaches, hinterland, and culture,’ he said.

‘The increased services should also put downward pressure on airline prices while providing more opportunities for Queensland’s exporters to tap into the world’s largest economy.’

Brisbane Airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaf said the city was ‘charting unprecedented territory’ and ‘witnessing an unparalleled level of interest’ from North American markets.

It is hoped the influx of visitors from America will generate income for Queensland and lead to more flight price competition

It is hoped the influx of visitors from America will generate income for Queensland and lead to more flight price competition

‘I’m not sure if it is the upcoming Olympics or the insatiable appetite for Bluey, but right now Brisbane is the ‘must add’ destination for North American carriers, and this opens a world of opportunity,’ he said.

Bringing more competition to Australian skies has recently been a hot-button issue.

Last October the Senate held an Opposition-led inquiry into the Albanese government’s contentious decision to block Qatar airlines from operating more domestic flights in Australia.

Former Qantas CEO Alan Joyce made no secret that he lobbied the government on the issue of Qatar Airways seeking more flights into Australia.

He told a Senate cost of living inquiry on August 28 that Qantas ‘put its case to the government’ and ‘made representations’ in a letter in October 2022.

Transport Minister Catherine King formally rejected Qatar’s request in July 2023 but denied recalling any lobbying by Qantas.