Qantas doubles Japan flights in time for northern ski season

Aussies seeking a Japanese escape are in luck with Qantas doubling down on its flights to Tokyo.

By Chris Ashton, May 19 2023
Qantas doubles Japan flights in time for northern ski season

Heart set on a trip to Japan? Qantas is adding twice as many reasons to hop aboard a red-tailed roo, supercharging its Tokyo connections from November 26, with extra flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all primed for take-off.

On the departures board are double daily flights from Sydney to Tokyo-Haneda – up from the single daily at present, as well as a jump from four to seven flights per week from Melbourne and a boost from thrice-weekly to daily out of Brisbane.

The schedule overhaul is well-timed for travellers hoping to jet off to enjoy the Japanese ski season, which really ramps up from late-December, along with the country’s famed hot springs and little-known sub-tropical islands off Tokyo.

However, it’s not all good news.

Qanats flights from both Melbourne and Brisbane will now return to touching down at the less-convenient Narita Airport instead of Haneda, meaning an additional 50 kilometre commute from the airport to downtown Tokyo.

Haneda Airport is 15kms from downtown Tokyo, versus 65kms from Narita.
Haneda Airport is 15kms from downtown Tokyo, versus 65kms from Narita.

Qantas’ Tokyo-Narita Lounge was an early casualty of the pandemic, with its doors shuttered in 2020 before closing for good in January 2022.

But that was no great loss, and Qantas business class passengers, Gold and Platinum frequent flyers and Qantas Club members can look forward to visits to the flagship Narita lounges of Oneworld partner Japan Airlines.

With no dedicated Qantas lounge in Haneda either, lounge worthy travellers can look forward to visiting Japan Airlines’ first class and Sakura business class lounges.

Of course, there’s another benefit for Sydneysiders touching down in Haneda, in the form of the freshly-opened rooftop hot springs at Haneda Airport Garden hotel and shopping complex, linked directly to the terminal.

The Japanese schedule boost is part of a significant jumpstart to Qantas’ international network, including additional flights jetting off to the United States and Hong Kong, as well as the return of Sydney-Shanghai after a three year hiatus.

A Qantas statement says the network changes will see the Group’s international capacity grow to around 100% of pre-pandemic levels by March 2024.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 97

I read the headline and think oh probably means Syd only. I get in a bit and pleasantly surprised to find it includes mel and bne, and then read on some more before the bias of Sydtas comes out in full display. Switch the entire Syd flights to haneda and dump mel and bne back at narita. Surprise surprise unsurprise.

19 May 2023

Total posts 1

With only 2 slots for Haneda I understand the constraint here, I wonder though the thought process of putting both Syd flights to HND over only 1 and either mel or bne getting a HND flight instead. 

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 104

I didn't think the whole split with Melbourne and Brisbane sharing the Haneda Slot was a good idea and they should have just tried one port for the second slot. 

Haneda is a bit overrated as it is the Domestic connections where it really excels but most people are just heading to Tokyo anyway and maybe just taking a train for onward travel and this is where Narita with it NEX and Keisei Skyline does just as well as you can get from Narita to Ueno Station in 40 minutes.

Probably the thing that is lacking for the extra Winter flights is a service to Sapporo (CTS), where plenty of Aussies head to for the winter months.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 162

It is a bit that way I guess

My Tip would be to use the CX Lounge, good views, food and they serve Piper-Heidsieck (unless you get JAL First)

25 Jun 2018

Total posts 45

Qantas had better sharpen their pencils on fares as JAL is cheaper by 28% and 41%, depending on flights.

I am flying via HND to JFK on JAL before QF brings in their new flights, and am paying just on 50% of QF fare.   Someone has to pay for AJ’s retirement bonus!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2018

Total posts 26

Logistically splitting would also impact crew accommodations etc 

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas doubles Japan flights in time for northern ski season