NON-stop flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco from April next year are “a great opportunity for Queensland exporters, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the flights operating four times a week to Chicago and three times a week to San Francisco would inject more than $150m into the Queensland economy over the next three years.

“As Minister for Trade I also see this as a great opportunity for Queensland exporters,” Premier Palaszczuk said.

“The recent opening of our Trade and Investment Queensland office in San Francisco is testament to how important the culture and companies of Silicon Valley and northern California are for Queensland export opportunities.

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“Easier access to the Midwest and East Coast will also make life more efficient for businesses operating in our growing biotech and life sciences sector.”

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the new services would bring an additional 257,712 inbounds seats to Brisbane over three years.

Ms Jones said the announcement was made possible because of the work the Palaszczuk government did to ensure Brisbane became home for Qantas’ four new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Federal Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham said these two new services reinforced the importance of North America as one of Australia’s most important markets.

“It is important that we continue to build upon this momentum and securing these two new services will undoubtedly help us do that,” he said.

“There’s never been a better time for Americans to travel Down Under with awareness and interest in Australia high and air fares extremely competitive.”

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the launch of 787 flights from Brisbane to Chicago and San Francisco was “fantastic news”.

Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff said the new routes offered untapped potential for growth.

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