ANA goes double daily to Sydney
ANA, which will soon partner with Virgin Australia, will increase its service on the Sydney-Haneda route to double-daily from 29 March 2020. The new daytime flights between Sydney and Tokyo will complement ANA’s existing daily services, which currently overnight in both directions. The exact schedules will be revealed when tickets go on sale in mid-December.
Virgin Australia plans to codeshare on ANA’s Sydney-Haneda services, as well as ANA’s new Perth-Tokyo route once the partnership between the two airlines is approved. ANA will also codeshare on Virgin Australia’s new Brisbane-Haneda flights once they begin, also on 29 March 2020.
At the beginning of the IATA summer scheduling period, ANA will also launch new flights from Haneda to Istanbul, Moscow, Stockholm, Milan and Shenzhen. The Star Alliance member will also switch its flights to Delhi, Houston, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle and Washington D.C. from Narita to Haneda Airport. This will result in even more new one-stop connections from Sydney and Brisbane via Haneda becoming available with ANA and Virgin Australia.
Japan Airlines switches Sydney flights from Narita to Haneda
Japan Airlines, a Oneworld alliance member, currently flies daily from both Melbourne and Sydney to Tokyo’s Narita Airport. From 29 March 2020, Japan Airlines will switch its Sydney service to Haneda Airport, which is closer to Tokyo’s CBD and generally preferred by business travellers.
Japan Airlines will keep its existing Sydney-Tokyo timings, with a daytime northbound flight from Sydney to Tokyo and an overnight return service. But with the airport change also comes a change in flight numbers, to JL51/52. Here is the new schedule:
- JL52 Sydney 09:15 – Tokyo Haneda 17:05
- JL51 Tokyo Haneda 19:20 – Sydney 07:10 (+1 day)
Tickets for the new Japan Airlines flights from Sydney to Haneda will go on sale at 4pm (AEDT) on 3 December 2019.
Japan Airlines will also switch its Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, Helsinki, Delhi, Dalian and some Honolulu flights from Narita to Haneda Airport from 29 March 2020. In addition, JAL will overhaul its Moscow service by switching from its Narita-Domodedovo (NRT-DME) route to a flight from Haneda to Sheremetyevo (HND-SVO), Moscow’s other airport. Japan Airlines will operate the new Moscow flights in partnership with Aeroflot, which has a base at Sheremetyevo Airport.
Meanwhile, Finnair will begin flying from Helsinki to Haneda at the end of next March at alternative times to the Japan Airlines flights on the same route. Finnair will retain its existing Helsinki-Narita flight as well.
If you’re travelling with Japan Airlines from Sydney to Tokyo, the airport switch to Haneda is probably welcome news. However, the switch does remove the possibility of short connections from Sydney to destinations such as Vancouver and Seattle, via Tokyo.
What will Qantas do with its Haneda slot?
In the latest round of Haneda slot allocations, ANA, Japan Airlines, Virgin Australia and Qantas were each awarded one slot pair. ANA, JAL and Virgin have all now announced how they intend to utilise their new slots, but Qantas is yet to do so.
Qantas had applied for two new Haneda slots, which it said it would use to add a second-daily Sydney-Haneda flight and switch its Melbourne-Narita flight to Haneda Airport. But it only received one slot. Unless Qantas decides to upgrade its Sydney-Haneda route to an A380, the airline would need to add a second daily flight to Tokyo once the Boeing 747s are retired next year, in order to meet the high demand on this route. It is unlikely that Qantas would have enough A380s in its fleet for flights to Tokyo, especially if the Sydney-Johannesburg route is upgraded to an A380 next year as rumoured.
With Japanese airlines soon to be operating 3x daily Sydney-Haneda flights, and nobody flying from Sydney to Narita, Qantas may decide to split its Sydney schedule with one daily flight to Haneda and a second new service to Narita. This would enable Qantas to be the only airline flying from Melbourne to Haneda Airport.