Qantas will become the first airline to launch non-stop flights between Melbourne and Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport.
The announcement comes as the airline’s new seasonal flights from Sydney to Sapporo take off today, coinciding with the busy ski season in Japan.
New flights to Haneda
The year-round flights to Haneda will operate daily from 29 March 2020 with an Airbus A330 aircraft, replacing the airline’s existing service between Melbourne and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.
The flights are expected to save travellers more than an hour commuting into the city and complement Qantas’ existing daily flights from Sydney to Haneda which the Australian national carrier has operated since 2015.
Qantas is also making improvements for customers flying from Haneda Airport. Eligible customers are now able to access the Priority Lane at the airport’s security checkpoint, as well as Japan Airlines’ Sakura Lounge.
The new flights are on sale from today. Customers already booked to travel from Melbourne to Narita will be automatically transferred onto these services or can make alternative arrangements.
Seasonal service to Sapporo commences
As Qantas’ first Sydney-Sapporo flight takes off today, the national carrier has also announced it will extend its seasonal service to the Hokkaido region for another year.
The flights will operate three times per week during the 2020-21 ski season from 14 December 2020 to 27 February 2021 with the airline’s upgraded A330.
Qantas is the only airline to connect Australia directly with Sapporo and the service is the national carrier’s fifth route between Australia and Japan.
The seasonal service will offer more than 10,000 seats on the route and is expected to drive tourism by creating a new option for travellers from the Hokkaido region to experience summer in Australia.
The Qantas Group operates more than 40 flights per week from Japan to Australia. This includes Qantas’s flights from Brisbane to Narita; Melbourne to Narita (from March 2020, this will be replaced with Melbourne to Haneda); and Sydney to Osaka, Haneda and Sapporo (seasonal). The Group’s low-cost carrier, Jetstar, operates flights from Cairns to Narita and Osaka, and Gold Coast to Narita.
Disclaimer: *Subject to government and regulatory approval.