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Following the announcement from American Airlines that it will operate daily flights between Brisbane and Dallas Fort Worth, a leading figure at Flight Centre is calling on Australian airlines to pick up their capacity on routes to and from North America.

Global FCM COO/Flight Centre Corporate MD for ANZ Melissa Elf said American Airlines announcement signified the strength of the trade relationship between Australia and the USA, and would see airline capacity march back toward pre-pandemic levels.

“We are currently operating at 89 percent of pre-2019 capacity between Australia and the US. We are anticipating this to reach 96 per cent by November with the welcome news of daily flights between Brisbane and Dallas.

“US carriers such as American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Airlines are all adding capacity, beyond their pre-2019 levels. They are recognising the demand we have for business and trade between our two countries.

“We need to see our Australian airlines follow suit to get us back to seamless, more affordable, and more frequent travel between our two nations.”

According to the US Embassy in Australia, the two countries have $117 billion in two-way trade and an investment relationship valued at $2.43 trillion, making the United States Australia’s largest economic partner.

“As Australia’s largest economic partner, Australian businesses will welcome this improved access to the USA, which will be critical in the ongoing growth of business partnerships and trade,” Elf said.

“Demand for travel between the US and Australia is evident by FCM Travel’s data, which shows an uplift of more than 60 percent in bookings in the second half of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022.

“This has been led by the education industry, which makes up close to half of all bookings, followed by Government and Not for Profit, Mining, Oil and Gas, and Finance and Investment sectors.”