Qantas has now resumed direct flights between Melbourne and Tokyo for the first time in more than three years. It also becomes the first ever direct flight to Tokyo Haneda International Airport.
Direct services to Haneda
The direct service will effectively save passengers nearly two hours travel to downtown Tokyo compared with Narita Airport, which the flight operated to before the pandemic.
The year-round flights will operate four days per week with an Airbus A330 aircraft and add to Qantas’ existing flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Haneda Airport.
Together, these flights offer customers more than 420,000 seats between Australia and Japan annually and the choice of double daily flights to Tokyo.
Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David said the flights would support the resurgence of tourism and trade links between Australia and Japan which have been growing rapidly since borders reopened.
“We’ve seen the demand for our Tokyo flights bounce back very strongly, and our research shows that it is one of the top tourist destinations that Australians plan on visiting in the next 12 months,” said Mr David.
“Our customers in Victoria have been looking forward to the return of this route, with the flights launching in time for travellers to enjoy the cherry blossom season in Japan. Corporate travellers can also now save time on their airport commute by flying into or out of Haneda.
“We’re pleased we can now offer our customers much easier access to Tokyo city centre and the world’s third largest economy from three major east coast Australian cities.
“We’d like to thank the Victorian Government and Melbourne Airport for their support on the launch of this route.”
Investment in meal services
This week Qantas also announced a multi-million dollar investment in food services, with new menus, larger meals and premium produce across all cabins in its regional, domestic and international network.
With the new upgraded food services due to come in in a couple of days, this will also benefit flights to Tokyo. The new menu changes will roll out on 29 March and will feature seasonal ingredients, including plant-based options, coinciding with Autumn.
Seasonal grilled chicken, steamed rice, miso soup with Japanese pickles, and pork ramen with pickled shiitake mushroom, shallot and nor, are some of the items which feature on the menu for Qantas’ flights between Australia and Tokyo.
The Melbourne-Tokyo (Haneda) route launch will also be followed by the national flag carrier’s new Melbourne-Jakarta service which is set to commence in mid-April.
Indonesia remains a key destination for Australian travellers, with the island of Bali traditionally being the hotspot tourist destination of choice.
Flights to the Indonesian capital of Jakarta will operate on a thrice weekly basis from the Victorian capital city of Melbourne from 16 April 2023.
The Qantas Group operates up to 35 return flights per week from Australia to Japan. This includes Qantas’ flights from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to Haneda and Jetstar’s flights from Cairns to Narita and Osaka, and Gold Coast to Narita.