Qantas will launch two new daily flights to Tokyo next year, in a major expansion of services into Japan.
Commencing on 31 July 2015, the Australian carrier will operate a new daily service from Sydney to Tokyo Haneda Airport. Then a day later on 1 August, it will launch four weekly flights from Brisbane to Tokyo Narita.
The Brisbane flight will also be complemented by another direct route to Narita, operating on the remaining three days of the week from an as-yet-unspecified Australian city.
The announcement was made by group CEO Alan Joyce at Qantas’ maintenance facility in Brisbane, where work is being carried out to re-fit the interiors of 28 Qantas Airbus A330s.
Once the work is complete, the A330s, which will feature new flat-bed seats in business class, upgraded economy class seating and new in-flight entertainment, will be deployed on the Brisbane-Narita route.
“We are delighted to offer Qantas customers a choice of four weekly services from Brisbane to Tokyo beginning in August next year,” Joyce said. “This is great news for Brisbane customers wanting to visit Japan but it’s also great news for tourism because it makes Queensland even more accessible to Japanese travellers.
“We expect the Sydney to Haneda services to be particularly popular with business travellers, and this traffic is likely to keep growing off the back of the free trade agreement between Australia and Japan,” he added.
In total, Qantas will add more than 4,000 weekly seats to Japan next year on 14 return flights using a combination of Boeing 747-400s (to Haneda) and A330s (to Narita).
Qantas currently operates daily flights between Sydney and Narita, so the 14 extra weekly flights will mark a 200% increase in the number of services the airline operates to Tokyo.
Qantas’ low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar, also flies a number of routes to Japan, including Cairns-Narita, Cairns-Osaka, Melbourne-Narita and Gold Coast-Narita. These flights will remain unchanged for 2015.
“Combined with Jetstar flights… into Japan, the services the Qantas Group offers put us in a very strong position when it comes to both leisure and premium travel to the world’s third largest economy,” Joyce said.