Qantas Announces Melbourne To Tokyo-Haneda Flights

Qantas will soon be operating Melbourne to Tokyo-Haneda direct flights with an A330, using up one of two new Haneda slots given to Australia for the 2020 Olympics.

Qantas A330-200
A Qantas A330-200. Photo: Qantas

What are the details?

Earlier today, Qantas revealed the details of its new route from Australia to Tokyo-Haneda, specifically replacing the Melbourne to Tokyo-Narita route. This will save travelers around an hour commuting time when landing in Tokyo.

Qantas Announces Melbourne To Tokyo-Haneda Flights
Melbourne (MEL) to Haneda International Airport in Tokyo (HND). Photo: GC Maps

The airline already operates direct routes from Sydney to the close-to-downtown Tokyo-Haneda airport (and has been since 2015), so in essence, the airline is just bringing the route in line with the service operated for Sydney travelers (much to the glee of those who follow the twin cities rivalry).

“Japan is arguably the most in-demand place in the world to visit in 2020 and our new flights will make it even more convenient to travel there from Australia,” said Qantas’ International CEO Tino La Spina in the press releaseOur new Melbourne-Haneda flights gives our customers much easier access to Tokyo city center and one of the world’s most important business markets. We expect the new Haneda service to be particularly popular with business travelers, who will save more than an hour of transit time in getting to the city and also starts ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”

Qantas also celebrated the launch of their new Sydney to Sapporo route today. This link will connect travelers directly to the far northern territories of Japan (famous for their skiing) and Sydney.

Qantas expects to launch the service by March 29th, 2020 and will be operated by the Qantas A330 fleet. 

To see what that experience is like, read the review here or you can watch our video below:

In business, passengers are greeted with a lie-flat seat with 73 inches of pitch and 23 inches width. The cabin is laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, alternating as to give room for footwells. In economy, the aircraft is laid out in a 2-4-2 configuration, which is notable as it allows couples to sit together and families to sit across a whole row (as opposed to the 3-3-3 or dreaded 3-4-3 configuration. The seats have 31 inches of pitch.

Qantas Announces Melbourne To Tokyo-Haneda Flights
Qantas A330-200 seat map. Qantas also operates the A330-300. Photo: Qantas

Is this route competition for Virgin Australia?

Virgin Australia must be relieved that Qantas didn’t choose to go head-to-head with them on their own brand new Brisbane to Toyko-Haneda route. This route is a first to Japan for the airline who has so far been focusing on their very profitable Los Angeles and Sydney route and their less profitable Melbourne to Hong Kong route.

Brisbane remains now the only main eastern seaboard city of Australia that is not directly linked to Haneda by Qantas (only to Narita). Likely had Qantas been given that Virgin Australia slot they would have moved their Brisbane service too.

What do you think of this news? Let us know in the comments.