Haneda Airport to welcome daily flight from Brisbane

It may have missed out on the Rugby World Cup, but Virgin Australia will begin flight service to Japan in March, in time to be established before the 2020 Summer Olympics take place in Tokyo. Virgin Australia will go to Japan for the first time after winning one of two open slots at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, which is closer to the city than Narita, Tokyo’s other international airport.

Qantas, which applied for both slots whilst Virgin Australia applied for just one, was awarded the second slot. Space is limited at Haneda, which lies about 20 kilometres south of Tokyo, and demand is high considering Narita is nearly 70 km north of the capital. Virgin Australia will operated one flight daily in a codeshare with All Nippon Airways. 

“We’re excited that travellers will now be able to make the most of our competitive airfares, award-winning service and fabulous Virgin flair on flights to and from Japan,” Virgin Australia said in a press release. “It’s about time someone brought competition to the monopoly market between Brisbane and Tokyo, and we couldn’t think of a better airline to do just that.

“Starting from 29 March next year, we’ll be operating daily flights between Brisbane and Haneda, which means that an additional 100,000 Australians will be able to access the closest and most convenient airport to downtown Tokyo each year.

“Our new reciprocal codeshare and frequent flyer partnership with Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways, means travellers will be able to travel to a range of destinations within Japan as well as across our domestic locations.”

Qantas has yet to announce whether its Haneda flights will take off from Melbourne or Sydney.

The Rugby World Cup concludes this weekend, with New Zealand v Wales in the third place match Friday in Tokyo and England v South Africa on Saturday in Yokohama. The Summer Olympics run 24 July-9 August in Tokyo and surrounding areas.