Why does Qantas fly to both Haneda & Narita?

By alexlips99 | Jul 14, 2017, 02:03 AM
Qantas flies from Brisbane and Melbourne into Narita, and from Sydney into Haneda... why do they use different airports for their Tokyo flights?
I would have thought that running out of one airport would have optimised costs with contractors and staff... as well as offering consistency.
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By richard89 | Jul 14, 2017, 04:19 AM
Then one asks why do VS/AA/BA service 2-3 airports in the NY region then? Or why does JQ do MEL and AVV? Because dollars and sense mate. 
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By Patricka340 | Jul 14, 2017, 08:14 AM
Haneda has slot restrictions and is pretty much operating at full capacity. QF has stated that they would like to move all ops from Narita to Haneda but until they can get slots they will be operating at both airports.
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By pkjames | Jul 14, 2017, 10:09 AM
IIRC, there are total of 14 HND slots between Japan and Australia, shared between ANA and QF.
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By Theresnormissin | Jul 14, 2017, 11:59 AM
So where do the JAL flights fall within those Slots? Are they classified differently?
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By btaus | Jul 14, 2017, 12:03 PM
JAL/AA operates transpacific hub at Narita. Where transit passengers can transfer to other JAL/AA international flights at Narita.
Last edited by btaus at Jul 14, 2017, 12.04 PM.
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By RedBaron | Jul 14, 2017, 03:27 PM
Not to mention that Narita is surrounded by rice paddies about 80 kilometres from downtown Tokyo and takes a good 90 mins or so to get to via bus/train or $200 taxi.
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By John Phelan | Jul 14, 2017, 03:27 PM
For decades, HND was almost exclusively a domestic airport for flights within Japan, whilst NRT was used for international flights. That distinction has blurred in recent years, but certainly most international ops still use NRT. QF was very lucky to get any slots at all at HND.
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By Fenoglio | Jul 14, 2017, 04:44 PM
Just to clarify, it certainly doesn't take 90 minutes to get to downtown Tokyo from Narita by train. The NEx takes just on 60 mins to downtown Tokyo. It costs about 3000 yen one way, which is admittedly more than using the subway from Haneda to downtown Tokyo, but there are (literally) always special deals (particularly on return tickets) for foreigners. Using the subway from Haneda usually does take longer than you might expect (subway took me over 40 mins doing this a few weeks back) unless you are lucky with express train connections. NEx is far more comfortable than the subway (real seats, and your ticket constitutes a seat reservation), whereas doing the subway during busy periods can be a real challenge. If you have domestic connections, Haneda is convenient, but I strongly prefer Narita when doing a stopover in transit to Europe (and there are really fast buses between the two airports).
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By John Odlum | Jul 14, 2017, 04:49 PM
I believe Qantas took over Jetstar's Melbourne-Narita slot, hence why Qantas is flying to Narita instead of Haneda. I've flown into and out of both, my preference is Haneda due to proximity to Tokyo itself.
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By Jedinak K | Jul 14, 2017, 05:53 PM
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that the Japanese authorities will only permit airlines to fly to Haneda if they also fly to Narita.  This is to ensure that Narita remains serviceable as most airlines would prefer to fly to Haneda only. 
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By Himeno | Jul 14, 2017, 06:58 PM
Not to mention that Narita is surrounded by rice paddies about 80 kilometres from downtown Tokyo and takes a good 90 mins or so to get to via bus/train or $200 taxi.
There are a number of ways to get between Narita and Tokyo. There are 4 train options across the 2 rail companies that operate at NRT (Keisei and JR). Keisei Skyliner takes 38 minutes to travel between NRT and Nippori station. JR Narita Express takes 60 minutes between NRT and Tokyo station. Both companies also have normal commuter trains which take 90+ minutes into Tokyo.
The airport buses take 50-70 minutes between NRT and areas in Eastern/South Eastern Tokyo (inc HND) depending on traffic.
There is a train option to connect the airports. This is a joint service by Keisei and Keikyu (rail operator at HND into Tokyo) and runs on the normal commuter tracks and through the Asakusa subway Line. Using this train to connect takes a while as it stops at all the subway stations.
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By Himeno | Jul 14, 2017, 07:25 PM

Qantas flies from Brisbane and Melbourne into Narita, and from Sydney into Haneda... why do they use different airports for their Tokyo flights?
I would have thought that running out of one airport would have optimised costs with contractors and staff... as well as offering consistency.

While Australia has an open skies treaty with Japan, allowing unlimited flights between both countries, HND is not part of Japanese open skies treaties.

HND was the original international airport for Tokyo. When NRT was built, HND was closed to most international traffic and international flights moved to NRT. The only overseas flights permitted at HND were "scheduled charters" which were range limited to be within the longest domestic flight possible from HND, thus only international flights to South Korea, Taiwan and parts of mainland China were allowed.

With curfew, slot and expansion issues at NRT, a new intentional terminal and additional runways were built at HND, and from late 2010, the airport was reopened to limited long haul flights.
Long haul slots for HND are assigned by the Japanese Government to selected nations. These slots are either night time (10pm-6am) or day time (6am-10pm).
Australia currently only has 14 weekly night slots, 7 for Australian carriers (taken by QF) and 7 for Japanese carriers (taken by NH).
In addition to the time requirements, an airline flying to HND is required to also maintain flights to NRT. Some airlines take this to mean the same route (eg LAX-HND and LAX-NRT), others take it to mean any flight (thus QF starting BNE-NRT as soon as they started SYD-HND).

The US was originally given 4 night slots which were split between AA, UA, DL and HA. However, due to flight times and time zones, the US departure/arrival times did not work well with many routes failing to make money (eg not many people wanted to depart/arrive JFK at 2am...). DL also wanted enough HND slots move their entire NRT hub operation and started a big fight about it. After around 2 years of DL arguing and negotiations between US DOT and JP MLIT, the US now has 4 day slots and 1 night slot.

The night HND slots allow QF25 to land as soon as it reaches Tokyo, rather then having to hold until 6am for NRT to open. I was once on a QF25 that landed just after 4am.

[quote]So where do the JAL flights fall within those Slots? Are they classified differently? [/quote]
Yes. The JAL flights, and all flights between Australia and Japan other then those to/from HND, are operated under open skies and only require landing slots at the airport.
No more flights to HND from Australia can happen unless the Japanese MLIT releases more slots to the Australia route (or QF/NH stop HND-SYD flights and hand their slots back for another airline to use)

Additional slots may be some time coming. There are a total of 60,000 annual slots for long haul flights, half for night flights, half for day. This equates to 82 slots/day for non Japanese carriers and MLIT decides which countries get these slots. Most of the slots have been given to North America and Europe.
More slots need changes to and additional taxiways, which will take at least 3 years.
Last edited by Himeno at Jul 14, 2017, 07.38 PM.
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By GregXL | Jul 15, 2017, 09:42 AM

So where do the JAL flights fall within those Slots? Are they classified differently?

Don't the JAL flights to Sydney operate out of Narita?

Last edited by GregXL at Jul 15, 2017, 09.42 AM.
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By Himeno | Jul 15, 2017, 01:02 PM

So where do the JAL flights fall within those Slots? Are they classified differently?

Don't the JAL flights to Sydney operate out of Narita?

Last edited by GregXL at Jul 15, 2017, 09.42 AM.
Yep.
The current AU-JP non stop flights are:
NRT-
SYD (JL)
OOL (JQ)
CNS (JQ)
BNE (QF)
MEL (QF)

HND-
SYD (QF)
SYD (NH)

KIX-
CNS (JQ)

Only HND is slot restricted by treaty. With open skies between Australia and Japan for all other Japanese ports, NRT is only slot limited for operational reasons, such as curfews and runway availablity.
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By pkjames | Jul 15, 2017, 07:40 PM
I go to Osaka 4-5 times a year for work, and for that reason I prefer HND over NRT because it allows me to connect to Itami (the haneda equivalent of osaka) rather than kix. If the connection time isn't right, I can always hop onto a Shinkansen. NRT just can't provide such convenience. 
For such reason, Haneda is always assigned to high yield route and Narita for leisure (if the airline is able to choose).
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