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American Airlines to offer US-Australia flights for first time in over 20 years

American Airlines will operate direct flights from US to Australia for the first in more than 20 years, the company announced Tuesday. American is expanding its partnership with Qantas Airways Ltd to operate the US-Australia flights.

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An American Airlines aircraft taxis to the gate at Miami International Airport. American Airlines Group Inc said on Tuesday it would begin operating a direct daily flight to Australia for the first time in more than two decades.

Lynne Sladky/AP/File

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American Airlines Group Inc. said on Tuesday it would begin operating a direct daily flight to Australia for the first time in more than two decades, expanding a partnership with Qantas Airways Ltd that will also see that carrier adding direct flights to the US.

Beginning in December, American will fly daily between Los Angeles and Sydney, while Qantas will fly on peak days from Sydney to San Francisco, increasing frequency to six flights a week in January 2016.

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American will operate using Boeing Co 777-300ER widebody aircraft, the companies said.

The airlines said they will ask the US government for antitrust immunity for the new service.

The US Department of Transportation currently is reviewing an application for antitrust immunity for a Delta Air Lines Inc and Grupo Aeromexico SAB de CV joint venture.

Delta has said there is potential for a similar venture with Brazil's Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes SA.

American also lowered its forecast for the second quarter. It predicts that its revenue per each mile flown will be down 6 to 8 percent. The company also expects its fuel prices will be between $1.86 to $1.91 per gallon.

In its May 2015 traffic report, the airliner also said its total revenue passenger miles for the month were 19.3 billion, up 0.7 percent from May 2014. Total capacity increased 2.1 percent to 23.3 billion available seat miles year-to-year, while total passenger load factor dipped 1.2 percent to 82.8 percent. 

American Airlines Group Inc.'s stocks was up 1.17 percent to $40.33 per share.