Sandgropers will finally get a direct service to Tokyo after ANA announced the start of direct Tokyo – Perth services in September 2019.
It has been a long time coming for the residents of Perth who have been without a non stop direct service to Tokyo since Qantas abandoned the route in 2011.
ANA will use a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on the run. The aircraft has 184 seats split across business, premium economy and economy cabins.
It’s a daytime flight down to Perth with ANA pushing back from the gate at Narita at 11.10am and landing in Perth the same day at 8.15pm. With a 90 minute turnaround, the Narita bound Boeing leaves Perth at 9.45pm to arrive in Tokyo at 8.25am the next day.
Having been absent from Australian skies for some years, ANA resumed flying into Sydney from Haneda using Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2015. The airline has long expressed interest in ramping up its presence in Australia. Perth represents its second Australian destination.
The Star Alliance member has an excellent reputation for its service and reliability. It is often used by Sydneysiders who make connections in Tokyo to European or North American destinations. Now Perth gets the same service.
Flying on ANA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Unlike ANA’s brand new A380’s, there is no first class on the 787 Dreamliner. The Perth flights will be configured with 32 seats in business, 14 seats in premium economy and 138 seats in the main economy cabin.
Business passengers who get about will recognise the Zodiac seat. It’s the same seat that Air France is using on its new A350s. Each seat becomes a lie flat bed and with a 1-2-1 layout in the business cabin, every seat offering that all important direct aisle access. Travellers on the overnight leg back up to Japan will appreciate the mattress toppers and duvets.
The small premium economy cabin has 14 seats in a 2-3-2 layout. Seat pitch is 38” and seat width is 19.3”. The recliner style seats have significantly more space than the economy seats and come with leg and foot rests. Food wise, premium economy passengers eat what the economy passengers eat but there is a better choice of wine. The small cabin bodes well for a quiet and restful flight.
Back in economy, things are not entirely grim. ANA offers one of the better economy products on the market. The ANA 787 economy cabin is configured in a 2-4-2 layout. You get 34” of seat pitch and 18.6” of seat width. On the back of each seat is a 10.6” IFE screen and each economy seat features USB ports, universal electrical power outlets and a footrest. You’ll also receive a pillow and blanket. Unlike airlines such as Etihad, all food and drink is inclusive in the fare, regardless of your class of travel.
Lounges in Perth and Narita
Business class travellers and and Star Alliance Gold travellers can access lounges at both airports prior to their flights.
Whilst there are a number of Star Alliance lounges at Narita, ANA flights from Narita use Terminal One. Your choices in that terminal are limited to a couple of ANA Lounges. ANA Diamond members can head straight for the ANA Suite Lounge.
In Perth, passengers are directed to the Air New Zealand lounge. Under Star Alliance rules you could also used the Singapore Airlines’ Silver Kris lounge. As a regular Perth airport user, my tip would be to use the Air New Zealand lounge. It’s much nicer in real life than appears below in the photo.
Perth has been crying out for more direct international services since Qantas largely stopped running international services out of the city a decade ago. The premium carriers that are committed to the city and fly into Perth do good business. It’s likely the Sandgropers will embrace the ANA service, further consolidating the dominance of foreign carriers at a Perth Airport.
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