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All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines add new Sydney-Tokyo Haneda flights

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 20, 2019

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA) aircraft at Tokyo Haneda Airport. (Rob Finlayson)
Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA) aircraft at Tokyo Haneda Airport. (Rob Finlayson)

All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines have announced plans to add new flights between Tokyo Haneda Airport and Sydney from March 2020.

Both Japanese carriers have used a recent allocation of slot pairs from the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to add more international services at Tokyo Haneda, which is located closer to Tokyo city than Tokyo Narita.

All up, ANA received 13.5 slots and Japan Airlines 11.5 slots, while 25 slot pairs went to international carriers.

Both Japanese carriers received one slot for flights to Australia.

ANA said it would used the slot to boost its current daily service between Sydney and Tokyo Haneda to double daily.


“There is growing demand to visit Japan, and ANA will increase its international service just as Haneda Airport also expands to adapt for inbound Japanese tourism,” said ANA senior vice president Seiichi Takahashi said in a statement.

“These new routes will increase the ease and convenience for passengers flying to Japan from across the world, a significant benefit of our dual hub strategy.”

Meanwhile, Japan Airlines said it would switch its current Sydney-Tokyo Narita nonstop flight to Tokyo Haneda.

“The expansion of these new services at Tokyo’s metropolitan airports will provide convenient options to our business and leisure customers in Japan and throughout the world,” Japan Airlines managing executive officer for international route marketing Tetsuya Onuki said in a statement.

“With the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, we look forward to serving our valued customers through Tokyo`s Haneda and Narita airports, while providing a seamless travel experience.”

The new services would increase the number of Sydney-Tokyo Haneda flights a day to four – two from ANA, one from Japan Airlines and one from Qantas.

ANA Boeing 787-9 JA873A operated the inaugural Sydney-Haneda service in 2015. (Rob Finlayson)
ANA Boeing 787-9 JA873A operated the inaugural Sydney-Haneda service in 2015. (Rob Finlayson)
A Japan Airlines Boeing 787-9 at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)
A Japan Airlines Boeing 787-9 at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)

There could also be a fifth flight from the end of March 2020, as Qantas was yet to announce what route to use the one additional slot it has been allocated for Australia-Tokyo Haneda services.

Qantas has said previously it was considering adding a second Sydney-Tokyo Haneda service or switching its Melbourne-Tokyo Narita flight to Haneda.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia planned to use its one slot to launch flights from Brisbane to Tokyo Haneda from the end of March 2020.

Currently, there were nine nonstop routes between Australia and Japan operated by four carriers – Sydney-Tokyo Haneda (ANA and Qantas), Sydney-Tokyo Narita (Japan Airlines), Sydney-Osaka Kansai (Qantas), Melbourne-Tokyo Narita (Japan Airlines and Qantas), Brisbane-Tokyo Narita (Qantas), Gold Coast-Tokyo Narita (Jetstar), Cairns-Osaka Kansai (Jetstar), Cairns-Tokyo Narita (Jetstar) and the recently commenced Perth-Tokyo Narita service from ANA.

And there is new capacity coming later in 2019, with Qantas scheduled to operate a seasonal Sydney-Sapporo nonstop flight with Airbus A330 equipment between December 2019 and March 2020.

At the recent World Routes conference in Adelaide, Hawaiian Airlines senior vice president for revenue management and network planning Brent Overbeek offered an insight into the benefits of serving Tokyo Haneda.

“For us what it really represents is better connectivity into domestic Japan. A little bit into Asia, but moreso domestic Japan,” Overbeek said during a question-and-answer session on September 22.

“So much of the Japan domestic market is concentrated in Haneda. Having access to that is really important to us.”

And while Narita’s distance from central Tokyo is often cited as a reason why airlines preferred to fly into Haneda, Overbeek said the land transport options have improved greatly over the years.

“In some respects Narita may get a little bit of a bum rap,” Overbeek said.

“I remember when it was early in my career and I would travel to Japan I remember getting off a 12-hour flight from Dallas and landing going ‘oh my gosh now I’ve got to plod into the city’.

“Frankly now with rail and everything you can in pretty quickly. So I think there is a psychological element of distance that Haneda’s proximity helps with.”

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Comments (9)

  • Lechuga


    lol Melbourne is absolutely stiff here. $ydney get everything. Knowing Qantas and their Sydney centric bias they’ll go double daily from there too. Double daily ANA and JAL going there too? Not one for Melbourne is poor.

    • Phil


      I’m truly surprised to be honest. I think 5 flights a day from Sydney to Haneda is a little too much to be honest. Melbourne could have surely sustained at least just 1 flight to Haneda daily.

      • Dave


        yep that might be why QF havent announced their plan yet.

    • kurt


      I have been seeing your responses for years here in the comment section on anything to do with Flights to Sydney? Do you have a complexity about Sydney or something? I live in Melbourne and its great but I don’t feel the need to complain if more international carriers choose Sydney over Melbourne or if Qantas chooses to be more Sydney “ONE Major HUB” centric. What would appease you? Send your complaints directly to Qantas and to all the carriers that serve Sydney not Melbourne “which isn’t that many as of late” and we all know what their response’s will be.

      • Phil


        Years? I only started commenting on this website a few months ago. Plus I have nothing against Sydney. I spent a lot of time in Sydney. My point was that 5 flights from Haneda to Sydney daily sounds a bit excessive.

  • Phil


    I’m sure there would have been enough demand for 1 daily flight to Melbourne from Haneda. The thought of 5 flights a day from Haneda to Sydney sounds a bit excessive. Would those flights even fill up?

  • Shane


    With the smaller 787 Of course they will fill up. When Japan was not so popular there was 3 x 747’s a day. So go figure.

  • Alpha141


    Japan has 125 million population give or take. Which is obviously a great deal larger than ours. How many times in their life do you think they will visit Australia? If they were going to choose to. As, most people might only do it once or twice in their lives. Sydney or Melbourne? Queensland has definitely been a market for them since the 1980s. Where do you think they want to go? Sydney is obvious over Melbourne. So. while spreading the options seem fair and more convenient for us. We actually aren’t the main factors here.

    Haneda from something i read recently is a more direct access to Japan’s domestic population. So that market might be willing to travel down here a bit more vs other regions with something a bit simpler for them. Overseas travel for the majority of the world is a luxury. I would say for many in Japan this is the case also.

    The smaller passenger number planes with reduced capacity allow the airlines to create increase demands. If there are too many people wanting to go somewhere vs the number of seats actually available. They can pump up the prices for increased margins and statistics denoting success thus the better for share prices. Its a business strategy. Not our ability to get cheap tickets.

    You also would be wise to see Qantas’s marketing on high octane of late. Making us feel that an economy seat isn’t enough for long hauls…Thus, getting us to convince ourselves we need the upgrade..thus pay more which mean more profits. That is all it is. Getting a narrative going. The higher pressure cabins in the modern jets now are absolutely amazing these days. What we have no vs 20-40yrs ago is crazy good. That should be enough for most. So dropping the fear would be a good idea it subtly creates.

    I would love to take some of the complaints people have these days back to the guys fighting on the Kakoda Track defending us for our generations now. To see how we are all complaining how uncomfortable air travel is these days…What they fought to hold all those years ago. For this era haha..it is pretty amazing. I will never complain in my life about any form of air travel after traveling via Grey Hound bus from Adelaide to Brisbane in the early 1980s for 40hrs…with a bus change at 2ame, one dunny and no air-conditioning with an annoy 3yo brother. I am sure many of you wise people here have your own stories to. I traveled to the US a few years ago on a United 787 with turbulence for over have the pacific leg. It was still a pretty amazing and comfortable experience. I was very fresh when arriving in San Francisco. We really are fortunate to be in this era.

    Airline industries with all that said is an incredibly tough game. They will also go the lowest risk option because people can’t wait to tell them how bad their decisions were. Again, affecting share price. So the courage to do things that might succeed really isn’t worth it.

  • Red Cee


    Japan is said to be booming with Aussie tourists. Is this aimed at the Japanese, or Australians?

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