I am sure they are thinking as long term as they can with Japan....HND slots are a once in a lifetime opp. Its like being gifted a Heathrow slow. They got a free peak time slot which is worth millions.
I would say they are thinking long term for that route.
I wonder if the MAX10 will make the A330 a thing of the past . 777 can replace the Tokyo and MAX10 flatbed across to Perth. Would bring costs down somewhat quite a bit.
But awful awful timing for launching a new Asian route. News is now covering warnings about travelling to Japan and South Korea which may impact Olympic traffic - which is what VA are relying on to kick start the route. Then there is the question of general travel softness to Asia on the corona virus.
I suspect Japan isn't going to be the gravy train they think it is going to be.... it will be a question of how long they can hang on there, hoping that things get better.