Later this month, Chicago-based United Airlines will finally resume its non-stop flights from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport. The reinstatement of flight services to Sydney is paired with flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Australia, and the Star Alliance member airline’s Australian network is fully rebooted.

Flying from Houston to Sydney

The first Houston-Sydney Flight UA 101 in over two years will take-off on October 28th, and the Sydney-Houston Flight UA 100 will follow on October 30th. These services are initially scheduled to operate thrice weekly until December 15th, after which the flight frequency from Houston will be confidently upgraded to daily flights. Daily flights from Sydney to Houston will begin on December 17th.

Flight number Departure time Arrival time Frequency
UA 101 (IAH – SYD) 21:15 07:00 +2
  • Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays
  • Daily from December 15th
UA 100 (SYD – IAH) 10:20 10:00
  • Tuesdays, Fridays & Sundays
  • Daily from December 17th

Red-eye flights on the newly restarted route will be operated by United’s Boeing-787-9 Dreamliner fleet of aircraft, configured in a four-cabin layout for 257 passengers. The airline will offer approximately 771 weekly seats to Sydney on the current thrice weekly frequency. Once the frequency upgrade settles in, United will eventually provide about 1,799 weekly seats upon the frequency upgrade.

United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N29975

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Beating the red-eye fatigue

The flight time from Houston to Sydney takes approximately 17 hours and 30 minutes, whereas the return flight has a more bearable time of nearly 16 hours. Still, red-eye flights are as long as they are tiring, though passengers flying with United might be pleased to cocoon in one of the flatbeds provided in the airline’s business class suite. With a 1-2-1 configuration, passengers can catch up on some much-needed snooze time in private.

Passengers can also beat the long-haul fatigue on United’s Premium Plus premium economy recliners for extra space and added comfort. As for passengers who wish to fill their bellies instead, the airline’s long-haul dessert menu was recently upgraded. The improved menu now features a complimentary Milk Bar for United Economy and United Premium Plus passengers to indulge in a delicious slice of its Milk Bar Birthday Truffle Crumb Cake.

Competition and partnerships

With the reinstatement of flights to and from Sydney, United will square off toe-to-toe with Australian flag carrier Qantas’ Sydney-Dallas/Forth Worth flights. The flights from the oneworld alliance member airline also utilize its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet of aircraft on a once-daily frequency, allowing Qantas to offer approximately 1,652 weekly seats from Sydney.

Though undeniably, Houston proves to be United’s significantly powerful Texas hub, as the airline provides onward flights to nearly 300 destinations across the USA, Canada, and Mexico. This proves beneficial for Virgin Australia’s frequent flyers as they will have a different travel option out of Sydney, given the airline’s partnership with United.

United Airlines Boeing 787-9 takes off from Los Angeles international AirportBottom line

This year has proved highly fruitful for United Airlines, as the complete rebuild of its Australian network is the latest in a string of United’s network upgrades for the remainder of this year and next summer. Besides its transpacific network, United has been expanding its European network and ramping up services to popular Asian destinations like Tokyo/Narita. The airline might end the year with an even bigger bang amidst speculations of a massive widebody order consisting of over 100 aircraft, with a possible announcement expected by December.

Source: Click2Houston

  • United-Airlines-Boeing-777-300(ER)--1

    United Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Guam International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Scott Kirby

    United States

  • 1021_160321_airports-ds-1

    Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    United States

    Mario C. Diaz

    Passenger Count :
    18,213,913 (2020)

    Runways :
    15L/33R – 3,658m (12,001ft) |15R/33L – 3,048m (10,000ft) |9/27 – 3,048m (10,000ft) |8L/26R – 2,743m (9,000ft) |8R/26L – 2,866m (9,402ft)

    Terminal A |Terminal B |Terminal C |Terminal D |Terminal E

  • Qantas-Emirates-A380-Sydney-Stunt-Getty

    Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport

    IATA/ICAO Code:


    Geoff Culbert

    Passenger Count :
    44,446,838 (2019)

    Runways :
    07/25 – 2,530m (8,300ft) |16L/34R – 2,438m (8,000ft) |16R/34L – 3,962m (13,000ft)

    Terminal 1 |Terminal 2 |Terminal 3


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