Nepal Airlines To Move Japan Flights From Osaka To Tokyo

Nepal Airlines has become the latest carrier to move its Japan destination airport to Tokyo, but with a twist. In the rush for airlines to abandon Narita in favor of Haneda, Nepal has seized an opportunity and taken over some slots.

Nepal Airways A330-200. Photo: N509FZ via Wikimedia

What are the details?

Nepal Airlines has made moves to switch its Japan destination airport from Osaka Kansai to Tokyo Narita. The airline currently does not fly into any other airports in Japan apart from the occasional seasonal route into Narita. This new move will see the airline abandon its service to Osaka in favor of a year-round journey into the beating heart of Japan, as reported by CH-Aviation.

Likely, these slots came up because of other airlines switching away from Narita in favor of Haneda, such as Qantas, Virgin Australia, United, and American Airlines to name just a few.

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The little bit of trivia with this story is that they only started operating the route in August of 2019, so it looks like the Osaka service was more a stop-gap until slots came up, rather than the end-all solution.

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This is also fantastic for those passengers looking to fly from Kathmandu to Japan for the upcoming Olympics, with the service poised to begin sometime in January or March 2020. This route change accompanies other new routes being launched by the airline to Riyadh and Guangzhou.

Nepal Airlines is slowly upgrading its fleet, starting with a pair of long-haul A330-200s. Photo:TMLN123 via Wikimedia

What aircraft will fly the route?

Nepal Airlines has scheduled two A330-200s for the Japan route, with the aircraft set to fly twice a week. These aircraft are on lease from our favorite wet-lease airline, Hi Fly, who has agreed to lease the aircraft as a normal lease. Nepal Airlines booked the engines separately, hiring them for 12 years from Rolls Royce.

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The A330-200 is configured to carry 274 passengers, with 18 sitting in Business class and 256 Economy class. Business class, known as Shangri-La Class within the airline, is arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration with lie-flat seats. All meals in the class are served on ‘exquisite China and crystal ware’.

Thai Lion Air features the same business class as Nepal Airlines. Even down to the seat color. Photo: Thai Lion Air

The economy cabin is in a 3-3-3 configuration with the standard 32-34 inches of legroom. All passengers have access to entertainment screens, with up to 40 channels of content to enjoy on the flight.

Oddly, the Narita flights are not available to be purchased and those looking to fly to Japan next year can only buy Osaka. This might be a bit of a shock if you turn up on the day and are flying to a different city. This move to the airport is also one of the many that the airline is underway with an effort to return its fortunes. The airline is upgrading its fleet (although still looking for a buyer for that 31 year old aircraft) and expanding its route network to more ‘in-demand’ destinations.

What do you think about this change? Will this be good for you? Let us know in the comments

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