While Perth Airport is in discussions with both ANA and JAL about direct flights to Tokyo, those flights are not due to take wing until 2019 says Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown.
"There's ongoing discussions with both airlines," Brown tells Australian Business Traveller, "but it won't be this year. It would be nice to see it happen but there’s a reality check on aircraft availability and other factors, and we're also competing with other destinations around the world."
But Japan isn't the only country on Brown's dance card.
"Japan is an important market for us, but so is mainland China, and so is India," Brown says. "There's lots of opportunities there, and direct flights create a stimulus in the market, maybe by 40-50%, just because it's easier for people to jump on those routes."
Star Alliance member ANA restarted its daily Sydney-Tokyo service in December 2015, with Oneworld member and Qantas partner JAL currently flying from both Sydney and Melbourne, and Perth is keen to be the next dot on their Australian route maps.
The airport has in recent months seen Qatar Airways upgrade its daily flights to an Airbus A380, while fellow Gulf carrier Etihad has pulled the plug on Perth and will make its last flight from the WA capital on October 1.