Huge Osaka Airport Growth: Qatar Airways Relaunches Flights

Qatar Airways has relaunched flights to Osaka’s Kansai International Airport. The airport is becoming a real hub for international aviation as airlines fight for slots in Tokyo. But what is so attractive about Osaka? Simple Flying finds out.

Qatar Airways, Osaka, International Growth
Qatar Airways is to relaunch its service to Doha. Photo: Qatar Airways

Japan is set to become a huge destination next year as Tokyo becomes the host city for the 2020 Olympic Games. With guests from all over the world expected to descend on the city, every airline is keen to get a piece of the pie. However, as slots are limited in Tokyo, some are branching further afield in order to increase capacity.

Three hours from Tokyo

According to Tokyo Cheapo, it takes between 2.5 and 3 hours to get from Osaka to Tokyo using Japan’s famous bullet train. However, it is possible to take a domestic flight between Osaka and Tokyo. This takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, and flights operate 58 times per day according to Google.

Both of these travel options make Osaka a great feeder city for two reasons. Firstly, passengers can easily travel between the two cities. Secondly, it also gives those interested a chance to experience another part of Japan on their way to or from Tokyo.

Qatar Airways, Osaka, International Growth
The route from Doha to Osaka is just under 5,000 miles as the crow flies. Photo: GCMaps

2020 Olympic Games

The 2020 Olympics are, no doubt, another reason that airlines are assessing their capacity to Japan. For around four weeks of 2020, Japan will welcome thousands of travelers from all across the globe. These passengers will travel for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games to support their home countries. As a result, airlines will need [plenty of capacity to cater to these passengers.

Both of Tokyo’s Airports are fairly busy, and slots are in short supply at the closer Haneda Airport. By operating flights to Osaka, airlines are able to avoid slot constraints in Tokyo, while additionally offering a new destination for customers. Indeed the airport plays host to several oneworld airlines.

Qatar Airways, Osaka, International Growth
Qatar will use an Airbus A350-900 for the service. Photo: Qatar Airways

Qatar to serve Osaka

On the 6th of April 2020, Qatar will commence a new service to Osaka from Doha. The flight will initially launch five times a week before becoming daily on the 23rd of June 2020. According to the airline, the flight will initially launch on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

The flights will operate to the following schedule:

  • QR802 will depart from Doha (DOH) at 02:10. The Airbus A350-900 will then arrive in Osaka (KIX) at 17:50 later that day.
  • The aircraft will then spend 5-hours and 40-minutes on the ground at Osaka.
  • QR803 will depart from Osaka at 23:30. It is scheduled to arrive in Doha at 04:50 the next day.

Would you fly with Qatar from Doha to Osaka? Let us know in the comments below.