Qantas Airways’ move to launch direct service between Sydney, Australia, and DFW Airport, which was 10 years in the making, is all about boosting business in both the U.S. and Australia. The four-times-weekly service, which kicks off today, could have a $130 million-plus direct impact on the North Texas economy annually, airport CEO Jeff Fegan said this morning. The figure that could rise to $200 million when and if daily flights are inaugurated, he added.
Fegan was attending a World Affairs Council breakfast addressed by Kim Beazley, the Australian ambassador to the United States. In an interview afterward, Beazley said the Aussie airline’s decision on daily service would be triggered by “load factors,” as well as the availability of Boeing’s often-delayed 787 Dreamliner plane (Quantas is currently using Boeing’s extended-range 747 for the flights).
Beazley also said that while Houston now enjoys the lion’s share of Texas business with Australian companies, the new service here will make North Texas more attractive to small and medium-sized Aussie firms, especially in the high-tech sector, and to Australian investors, who have a ton of cash to deploy. “This will sort of rub a lot of noses in opportunity,” he said.