Qantas has expanded its presence in Japan with the launch of new direct flights linking Melbourne with Tokyo’s Narita Airport.
The new daily service, which is being operated using a two-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft, takes the number of weekly seats the Australian national carrier offers on its Japanese routes to 6,000. This follows the launch of new Sydney-Tokyo Haneda and Brisbane-Tokyo Narita routes in 2015.
Qantas International CEO, Gareth Evans, said that Qantas was aiming to “meet demand and unlock opportunities for Australia in Asia”.
“The clear message from our Japanese customers was that they wanted a direct link into Melbourne, so we’re delighted to be opening up that gateway for them today,” Evans said. “We’ve had a great response from Victorian tourism operators and the many companies in Melbourne who do business with Japan.
“With a new Free Trade Agreement in place, there’s tremendous potential to build on the fantastic growth we’ve already seen in this market, and we want the Qantas Group to lead the way in making it happen.”
Tokyo becomes the eighth international destination served by Qantas serves out of the Victorian capital. Flights to Christchurch began on 4 December, and the airline confirmed earlier this week that Melbourne-Los Angeles would be the launch route for its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft in 2017.
Qantas’ low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar also currently flies between Melbourne and Narita, but this service will cease operating early next year. Jetstar also links Narita with Cairns, Sydney and the Gold Coast.