Qantas will shift its Sydney-Tokyo flights from Narita to Haneda airport from July 31, 2015, while also beginning direct Brisbane-Narita flights.
The Sydney-Haneda service will remain daily on a Boeing 747 while Brisbane-Narita will run four times a week on an Airbus A330 with the new Business Suite business class seats and upgraded economy seats.
Qantas says it will also fly to Narita "on three alternate days from another Australian port, which will be finalised shortly."
The existing daily Sydney-Narita flights will shift to Tokyo's Haneda airport, which is preferred by business travellers due to its closer proximity to Tokyo's city centre.
“We expect the Sydney to Haneda services to be particularly popular with business travellers" predicted Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, "and this traffic is likely to keep growing off the back of the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Japan."
PREVIOUS | Qantas will begin daily flights to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in August 2015, making it the only airline in Australia with direct flights into the near-city airport.
The airline will continue its daily flights from Sydney to Tokyo's Narita Airport, although it suggests that the timing of that flight may change "so that the combined services offer better flexibility for customers."
Like the current Sydney-Narita schedule, the Haneda service will be an overnight flight from Australia to reach Tokyo in the morning.
However, the new Haneda flights are not expected to be anchored in Sydney, with Qantas considering other capital cities to anchor the route – opening the possibility of new routes such as Brisbane-Tokyo or Melbourne-Tokyo.
Qantas has also not yet revealed what type of aircraft will fly the route. The Sydney-Tokyo service is currently operated by a Boeing 747, and the airline says the new Haneda service "will be made possible as a result of improvements in the utilisation of our fleet."
While Narita is Tokyo's largest and busiest international airport it's also a long way from the city, taking almost an hour on airport express train services to the city centre compared to less than half an hour from Haneda on the Tokyo Monorail.
Travellers will also have access the recently-revamped Japan Airlines Sakura Lounge at Haneda Airport.
“This is great news for customers travelling from Australia to Tokyo and popular destinations across Japan" enthused Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
“Haneda is located close to downtown Tokyo and provides a great option for customers wanting to get to the city quickly or those wanting to connect seamlessly with services from our partner, JAL.”
It's predicted that the number of Australians travelling to Japan is expected to grow by 13% in the next two years, along with a boost to business travel between the two countries due to the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Japan.
Qantas' Oneworld partner Japan Airlines runs Boeing 777 flights from Sydney into Narita, with Jetstar flying into Narita from Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Cairns.
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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.