The Victorian Government has welcomed United Airlines’ decision to restart its direct services to Melbourne from San Francisco, with the extra flights expected to boost the economy by $54 million.

The flights will increase beginning with three flights a week from June, to a daily service by December, providing almost 200,000 new seats to and from Melbourne each year.

The extra flights are expected to boost the economy by $54 million and create around 570 jobs in the aviation and tourism sectors.

San Francisco is United Airlines’ primary hub for flights to Asia and Australia. The city is home to the country’s tech sector, the world-famous Silicon Valley and serves as a gateway between the US and the world.     

The US is Victoria’s second largest trading partner with two-way goods trade valued at $13 billion in 2021 and its economy provides Victorian businesses with significant export opportunities.

United joins a growing list of major airlines expanding their international offering from Melbourne including Emirates, Etihad, Bamboo Airways and Qantas – which recently announced a new direct route from Dallas Fort Worth and expanded services from Los Angeles.

Minister for Industry Support and Recovery and Minister for Trade, Martin Pakula, said, “Having more direct flights to Victoria means it is even easier for visitors to come here and enjoy everything we are famous for – whether that’s our major sporting events, food scene or cultural institutions.”

United Airlines Senior Vice President of International Network and Alliances, Patrick Quayle, said, “The fact that we retained a daily passenger service to Australia throughout the lowest points of the pandemic shows our commitment to Australia.

“We are thrilled to resume our San Francisco to Melbourne service and see a bright future ahead for United, for Melbourne and for US-Australia travel.”

Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation, Lorie Argus, said, “We are thrilled to be welcoming United back. This is a huge vote of confidence in Melbourne because United’s global footprint means it has a wide choice of potential cities to serve, and our proposition clearly stood out.”

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