Direct flights between Australia and Japan are set to get a boost after Qantas announced new services to Japan late last year. In addition to this, there is speculation that All Nippon Airways will re-enter the Sydney-Tokyo market after a 16 year hiatus.

Following various airline cutbacks and the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake in Japan, which caused a major downturn in Japan’s tourism industry, the number of flights between the two nations has been gradually reduced in past years.

However, the future is looking a lot brighter as Japan’s tourism industry recovers, and conversely, more Japanese tourists want to visit Australia. 2014 also marked the signing of a free-trade agreement that is expected to cause an increase in business and travellers between the two countries.

From mid-2015, Qantas will switch its daily 747 service from Sydney to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, rather than Narita. Haneda is a more attractive airport, especially for business travellers, due to the much closer proximity of the airport to downtown Tokyo. In addition, Qantas will commence a new 4x weekly flight from Brisbane to Tokyo (Narita) using A330s. The airline has also announced that they will use an A330 to fly from Narita Airport to another Australian city on the other three days but are yet to confirm a city. The news has been met with much excitement by our members.

Good news for QF. Whenever I’ve been on QF22 there has always been a solid load, even on a 747.

The rumour is of All Nippon Airways flying between Sydney and Tokyo, possibly using 787s. Currently, the only direct flights between Australia and Japan are on oneworld carriers and Jetstar, so this would add an option with Star Alliance.

It would be very convenient to have a *A carrier operate direct Australia to Japan to save transit in Singapore or Seoul, particularly if they operate their 787 on this route.

In the meantime, our members speculate about the destination of Qantas’s other new 3x weekly A330 flight to operate out of Narita Airport, supplementing the Brisbane service. Sydney and Melbourne are likely, but not the only contenders.

PER-NRT would be the best to complement BNE! Or what about something out of the box like CNS-NRT?

Either way, the new services will add to capacity on the Australia-Japan market and if the All Nippon Airways rumour comes true this will further add to competition. This is great news for travellers.

What do you make of the news? Join the discussion about Qantas’ announcements HERE or the All Nipppn Airways rumour HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]