Qantas Continues To Restore Australia-Japan Flights


Qantas has restarted service between Brisbane (BNE) in Australia and Tokyo as it continues to restore flying to Japan.

The oneworld carrier will operate flights from BNE to Haneda (HND) 3X-weekly from Dec. 1. Qantas previously operated service from BNE to Tokyo before the pandemic using Narita (NRT).

The route will be flown with an Airbus A330 aircraft, which the airline said will enable it to offer more than 1,700 seats between BNE and HND weekly.

Qantas noted it will be the only airline flying the route and becomes the first carrier to serve Haneda from BNE.

Qantas is now operating 20 weekly flights between Australia and Japan, which eased restrictive COVID-19 entry rules on Oct. 11. The Australian flag carrier already operates service between Sydney (SYD) and HND. The airline said it will resume service between Melbourne (MEL) and HND from March 2023.

Additionally, LCC subsidiary Jetstar operates flights from Cairns (CNS) to both NRT and Osaka (KIX), as well as service between Gold Coast (OOL) and NRT.

“Pre-COVID, Japan was one of the most popular destinations for Australian travelers, and we’re seeing the demand for Tokyo bounce back strongly,” Qantas regional GM for Asia John Simeone said in a statement. “The new flight from Brisbane into Haneda Airport gives our customers much easier and faster access to downtown Tokyo and one of the world’s most important business markets, saving more than an hour of transit time in getting to the city” compared to flying into NRT.

“This is a milestone day for BNE,” airport CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff said. “We are delighted to see the return of flights between Tokyo and Brisbane Airport, boosting one of [the state of] Queensland’s most important tourism markets.”

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland.

“Every year, Qantas [nonstop flights] from Haneda will land 46,460 seats in Brisbane and deliver more opportunities for Japanese visitors to enjoy Queensland’s great lifestyle,” Queensland tourism minister Stirling Hinchliffe said. “We know Japanese visitors love our iconic, world-class visitor experiences and with return travel [to Japan] becoming much easier, we’re excited to welcome travelers from Japan back to the Queensland sunshine. Before the pandemic, Japan was one of Queensland tourism’s top five nations for overseas holiday arrivals and visitor spending.”

BNE’s international capacity is expected to rise to 72% of 2019 levels in the March 2023 quarter and to 82% in the June 2023 quarter.

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.