Flag carrier, Qantas Airways has launched its double daily services between Australia and Tokyo earlier this week.
The Oneworld alliance member’s QF25 departed from Sydney to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, while QF61 departed from Brisbane to Narita Airport.
Qantas’ Brisbane to Narita launch flights will be operated by the airline’s refurbished Airbus A330 aircraft, with lie-flat seats in Business, brand new economy seats, and new inflight entertainment. These newly refitted aircraft are progressively being introduced onto the carriers’ Asian routes.
Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said the almost doubling of capacity to Tokyo marked a new era for the national carrier’s presence in Japan in the wake of a growing Australia-Japan travel market.
“We’ll be working closely with our tourism partners to showcase all that Australia has to offer for the Japanese audience, and with a free trade agreement in place we’re anticipating healthy demand for travel in both directions,” added Gareth Evans.
Traditional Japanese ceremonies to mark Qantas’ new Australia – Tokyo services took place at both Narita and Haneda Airports August 1, and passengers were treated to Japanese-inspired menus.
The launch of the Qantas double daily flights to Japan follow Jetstar Airways’ introduction of its 787 Dreamliner on the Melbourne – Narita route earlier this month, which will increase available seats between the two cities by 20 percent over the next year.
It also comes soon after Japanese carrier; All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced its plans to launch a new non-stop connection between Tokyo Haneda and Sydney from December 2015.
ANA’s new Sydney route will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner configured in a 215-seat, three-class arrangement.
Visitors from Australia to Japan are rapidly increasing, with just over 300,000 visitors in 2014, an increase of 23.8 percent from the previous year. Japanese destinations such as Hakuba and Niseko are particularly popular among Australian winter sports lovers and will be accessible via ANA’s domestic network.