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Qantas to launch Sydney-Tokyo Haneda flights

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, tokyo

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.

Qantas is also adding several major Japanese cities onto the list of codeshare flights available with Jetstar Japan, including Sapporo, Fukuoka, Okinawa and Osaka.

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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.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 28/11/14 by AusFlyer

I didn't expect this news but it's great. Haneda is so much more convenient!

2 on 28/11/14 by George

This is great news, making transfering to a domestic JAL flight so much easier!

Earlier this year getting to Sapporo involved flying to NRT and then enduring a long bus ride in traffic for the domestic flight. We almost missed out connections on both the outbound and return legs.

3 on 28/11/14 by KK

Just fly Sydney - Haneda and move the current Narita service to Melbourne or Brisbane.

1 on 28/11/14 by Michael

However, if you are traveling on JR pass, it is harder to get to Tokyo from HND than NRT. NRT has Narita Express (NEX) that will take you to Tokyo, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Shinagawa and even Yokohama in just one train without transit. Whereas from HND you need to go on monorail and change to local train. When you have 2 big pieces of luggage, it is not that convenient to change train. 

1 on 28/11/14 by KK

Taxi to Haneda is much cheeper. Shuttle bus is also available.

2 on 28/11/14 by Himeno

NRT has both JR and Keisei rail service with both offering slower commuter service and fast express service. The JR Narita Express takes an hour between NRT and Tokyo Station with options to continue to Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Shinagawa and Yokohama. The Keisei Sky Liner takes 38 mins between NRT and Nippori or 45 to Ueno where you can connect to local JR and Toei/Tokyo Metro lines.


HND has the Tokyo Monorail from Hamamatsuchō Station and Keikyū Rail has options from Shinagawa and Yokohama. With some trains running through the Toei Asakusa Line and the Keisei Oshiage and Main Lines linking though to NRT.


Both HND and NRT also have the bus services (Friendly Airport Limousine and Keihin Express Bus) to multiple points around Tokyo, Yokohama and other cities in the Kanto region.

3 on 28/11/14 by Himeno

JR is also considering building a branch line to HND from their nearby local tracks.

4 on 6/1/15 by GeorgeMichael

Monorail line is being extended so this is only a temporary concern. Also, NEX (for some reason) takes an hour and a half into Tokyo if you catch the early SYD-NRT flight. 

4 on 28/11/14 by RK

Wow, this is fanstic news. Great to see Qantas trying some new routes! Kepp it up, please.

1 on 28/11/14 by RK


5 on 28/11/14 by Michael

BNE-HND is much needed! It is the only direct route that is missing. I don't care whether it's Jetstar or Qantas, as long as we Brisbanites don't have to drive to Gold Coast. 

1 on 28/11/14 by hutch

If they do fly out of a different Aust port, BNE does make some sense - its north and offers connections without backtracking (that MEL would involve).

I sense that the SYD-NRT flight may now turn around and fly NRT-SYD as a day flight.

1 on 28/11/14 by Himeno

One can only hope. It's only what people have been telling QF to do for years.


QF to HND was somewhat unexpected. There has been talk of JL moving their SYD flight to HND, and QF had said they weren't interested. VA had said a a while ago they would consider the HND route.

Australia only has rights for 7 weekly return flights to HND, maybe QF is jumping on them before VA does.

Will have to wait to see more details such as the flight times. HND now has long hual day slots open, but it remains to be seen if the Australian slots are still limited to the 11pm-7am block.

6 on 28/11/14 by qf22

Great news! I'm tipping though syd-hnd with 747-400 with similar timings to the existing qf21/22 and the nrt flight to change to bne-nrt using a330 daytime flight and night time flight back to bne. 

1 on 28/11/14 by moa999

With more 747s to be retired and a few A330s back from JQ.

personally think its likely that both will go to A330 services. Lower pax numbers on the SYD-Tokyo direct but transfers can move to other city.

Would be even better if the planes could swap. For arrvivals easy enough to get into Tokyo for morning meetings from either NRT or HND, but an evening HND departure makes things a lot easier.

eg. BNE-HND-SYD (early morning arrival, evening departure - so plane sits on tarmac), SYD-NRT-BNE (earnly morning arrival, morning departure - increasing utilisation

1 on 28/11/14 by Robin

Pity to lose the 747s - I went t to NRT last year in premium economy, which is great for that distance. Presumably the A330s will be only business and economy..

2 on 28/11/14 by hutch

If QF want to improve fleet utilisation, leaving a 747 on the ground in NRT all day does not make sense. Particulary more difficult when you'll only have nine 747's soon. 

7 on 28/11/14 by Renato Jean

As an Australian living in Japan where I am always flying from my closest airport to Haneda, and then taking the train/bus to Narita to fly back home to Australia, this is really great news.

8 on 28/11/14 by Fonga

August 2015 start date? Hmmm I wonder if those options on the 787-9 are about to be deployed a little earlier than expected....

1 on 28/11/14 by RK

Gee I hope so!

2 on 28/11/14 by Himeno

If so, how quickly could they form up an order and have the aircraft arrive?

1 on 28/11/14 by petrhsr

Slots available from December 2015


Of course delivery slots and entry of a new type into commercial service at a carrier are two entirely different animals.

9 on 28/11/14 by Shang

This is great news for those Australian living in Japan and travelling frequently between two nations.

I lived in Japan for few years and getting in and out of Tokyo using NRT is just irritating.  Huge portion of residents live in western part of Tokyo which is incredibly far away from Narita.

I haven't been using the direct flight going back to Sydney for long time because as far as I concerned using Cathay's Haneda flight and transfer in HKG is much more convenient and relaxing. And often they offer cheaper ticket and flexibility as well.

10 on 28/11/14 by Frank

Wont hold my breath, but they could try  Perth - Haneda just so we can say we have at least one international flight on the big Q from Perth.   Otherwise its just an extra 5 hours on the journey.

1 on 28/11/14 by Andrew

With the hundreds of a330s qf has sitting in Perth on the weekend I don't see how qf can't resume flights to Tokyo. While they are at it why not make Auckland year round, relaunch Hong Kong flights. And while their at it why not relaunch Singapore services with a 738 and throw in a weekly service to Seoul just for good luck! They have the aircraft sitting on the Tarmac racking up bills so I don't see why not! 

1 on 1/12/14 by hutch

Small steps... how about they get Auckland year round and then look at Singapore year round first.

11 on 28/11/14 by petrhsr

BNE-HND?  I wouldn't have thought so.  Maybe SYD-HND daily, MEL-NRT 4 days a weeks and BNE-NRT 3 days a week?

The cabin where they make the money is J.  J pax will obviously prefer HND because of the location, and then catch a cab rather than the train, because what's a $90 taxi fare to Minato or Shinjuku when you're paying for QF business class?  It's nothing, that's what.

12 on 28/11/14 by Andrew

Except QF still has a lot of investments in Narita like the Business lounge so I doubt they will be launching lots of Haneda flights 

13 on 28/11/14 by Anthony

Here's a novel idea...... How about Qantas has at least 1 international flight out of Perth??? Haneda/Perth flight would be great for both countries.  Shirley :-) , there would be a great opportunity to fill the planes with air cargo too.

You wouldn't believe the path I am taking to get there in  few weeks via Scoot and Air Asia arrrgh.

1 on 28/11/14 by hkflyer

You must be a glutton for punishment - surely CX all the way via HKG would be more tolerable than Scoot / AAsia??!

1 on 1/12/14 by Anthony

I think I am. It just gives my kids something more to whine about .... "But Daaaaaad, you fly business class for work" and my standard reply is "That is exactly why it is called Business..........were on holidays "  It gets worse, my wife actually booked Tiger not Scoot for the first leg to Singapore.  24 hour adventure.......... that's how I'm pitching it

2 on 1/12/14 by hutch

Pretty sure Qantas is not going to price its product to compete with Scoot/Air Asia

1 on 1/12/14 by Anthony

I think you are right, otherwise it would become a Jetstar flight. I was allways willing to pay a little extra to fly Qantas to Singapore and I'm sure I would do the same for a direct flight to Haneda

14 on 28/11/14 by somethingy23

First Vancouver was announced, now Haneda!

Good to see Qantas throw in some new routes, keep up the good work! Although I doubt MEL will get the new service seeing as they just got a jetstar service this year and connecting flights will be longer. If anything BNE is the most likely. But in this case (as HND is a typical business heavy route) I am confused as to why SYD isnt their first choice after which they can move the NRT flight (to BNE maybe?)

15 on 29/11/14 by luke

That's great news, I have flown in and out of Haneda many times with other airlines and found it much easier than Narita. Wish it started last week when I flew out of Tokyo and I find Haneda a nice airport than terminal 2 out at Narita. 

16 on 29/11/14 by John

Pitty Alan Joyce couldnt find a plane to fly out of Perth to some international destination, Qantas used to fly from Perth direct to Singapore, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Bali, oh but not any more, Alan made sure of that, good onya AJ

1 on 1/12/14 by hutch

Pretty sure every time Qantas launches a new service there will be a whinge about Perth.

1 on 1/12/14 by Anthony

It's either that or we will whinge about our crappy airport........10 years too late and what they are building seems like a series of lean-toos. We may get multi-level undercover parking in 10 years at the rate they are going.................. You've got to hand it to Perth Airport Pty. Ltd they are excellent at building industrial estates and single level carparks

1 on 1/12/14 by hutch

Well Australian airports are rubbish compared with international standards these days.

17 on 10/12/14 by lind26

Sydney Centric Qantas - fed up of it

1 on 11/12/14 by hutch

Damn Qantas for wanting to fly from Australia's largest city, with the largest corporate market and best known city internationally.

18 on 6/1/15 by GeorgeMichael


"The airline will continue its daily flights from Sydney to Tokyo's Narita Airport,"

Narita is not in Tokyo prefecture - its in Chiba. So, this would be Qantas' first Australia - Tokyo flight. 

1 on 6/1/15 by Chris

Given that Narita is Tokyo's (and Japan's) primary international airport, I think you're splitting hairs on that one...

2 on 7/1/15 by Himeno

Qantas used to fly to HND before NRT was built and most international flights forced out of HND.

19 on 4/4/15 by Don't care

Perth? Used to have direct then nothing? Now I have to use JAL or Cathy Singapore or Garuda and there are more. QANTAS, you used to be competative and reasonable. You've got me covered when I fly to mine sites but now that's quiet where are you looking for growth?


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