The issue for Qantas is slots at SFO, they were given up by the previous CEO adn are not available again until 2006, depending on United's outcome.
Can you elaborate on this a tad? SFO has no slot program in place, (never has) and is currently actively marketing for extra carriers/routes to serve the airport. Am not sure if you mean there is something on the bilateral stopping them from serving SFO, but even there I can't see anything that would suggest so. The current bi-lateral between Oz & the USA allows for multiple carriers from each country to serve points in the other country with no limitations on aircraft types. (A minimum of four return frequencies per week must be flown on the South Pacific passenger routes and a minimum of three return frequencies per week must be flown on the North Pacific pasenger routes. A limitation of 4 DC10 or equivalent applies to the 3rd approved route, the Guam/Marianas).