Japan is an extremely popular destination for Australian travellers, so much so, it’s grown by 50% since 2015 – that’s quite a massive jump in passenger numbers.
To cater for this, passengers already have quite a few options for travel to Japan. The airlines dominating the space between the two countries would be Qantas, Jetstar, ANA and JAL.
Qantas have daily flights to Tokyo Narita from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney as well as a daily Haneda service as well as an Osaka flight. As you can see, the market is pretty well covered, but what if another Australian airline could join that list?
Virgin Australia to Tokyo Haneda?
Virgin Australia isn’t exactly known for their extensive international coverage but where they do cover are essential markets. Japan has proved to be so popular that Virgin are now looking at the possibility of starting flights to Tokyo.
In a press release today, the airline stated that they will be applying for slots to Tokyo’s Haneda airport.
Per Virgin Australia,
The airline is focussed on investing in the right routes that are commercially profitable and introducing Japan to its network will benefit the business, guests and the broader tourism industry.
The Australian government and the Japanese government have said that they will be allocating the slots for the airport on October the 31st this year with the new arrangement to be effective come March 29th 2020.
I think this route could be one that works for well for the airline but what about aircraft? Assuming the airline follows the exact same procedure as Hong Kong, they’ll be using the A330 which also operates to Perth and the pacific islands in peak seasons.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes of this and if Virgin completely commit to the idea of Tokyo. The airline can obviously see the demand but what about profitability?
The Hong Kong services right now for the airline are really up and down, it’d be interested to see the initial interest as well as how well the airline would with and alongside ANA.