Jetstar will launch non-stop flights between Melbourne and Tokyo's Narita airport but axe its Gold Coast-Osaka service in a reshuffle of the low-cost airline's Japanese network.
The new Melbourne-Tokyo service will see four flights each week on Jetstar's Airbus A330 beginning from 29 April 2014, with flight schedules and fares expected to be released before Christmas.
This is the first Melbourne-Tokyo service since 2008 and will feed travellers into the Jetstar Japan network for flights to nine other Japanese cities including Osaka, Fukuoka and Sapporo.
"We know this is one of the largest unserved international markets in Australia and our bookings show that many Victorian customers are travelling to Tokyo via other ports in the network,” said Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO David Hall.
However, Jetstar's thrice-weekly flights between the Gold Coast and Osaka will be dropped as of 8 May 2014, although Gold Coast-Tokyo flights will remain and at some stage be upgraded from the current Airbus A330 to Jetstar's new Boeing 787.
“Once the 787 is introduced on the Gold Coast-Tokyo route we will be offering an extra 23,000 seats a year more than what is currently offered on our A330 flights,” Hall said.
“While we recognise that the Gold Coast is a major tourism destination for Japanese visitors, demand from Osaka was not as strong as that from Tokyo" Hall explained.
“The suspension of the service is part of our response to the current state of the Australian aviation market and a realignment of Jetstar’s international network.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.