Qantas kicks off doubles daily flights to Japan

By David Flynn, August 3 2015

Qantas drew another red line on its network map this weekend with the launch of direct flights between Brisbane and Tokyo’s Narita Airport.

At the same time, the long-established Sydney flights switched from Narita to Haneda Airport, located much closer to downtown Tokyo than the distant Narita.

Read: Qantas celebrates Tokyo flights with sashimi, sake, green tea Kit-Kats

Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans sees this as a double win for passengers to Japan, especially business travellers.

“The location of Haneda Airport makes it a logical choice for business travellers, given the easy 15 minute connection to downtown Tokyo”, Evans told Australian Business Traveller on the eve of the Sydney-Haneda launch.

“Narita on the other hand is a great option for leisure travellers wanting to either explore Japan or popular holiday destinations across Jetstar Japan’s extensive domestic network, like Sapporo, Osaka and Fukuoka.”

Read: Tokyo's Haneda vs Narita airports for the business traveller

The Brisbane-Tokyo flights were initially slated to run only four times a week, with another city to pick up the other three days, but Qantas’ Regional General Manager for Queensland Peter Collyns said strong support from Brisbane Airport, Tourism & Events Queensland and chamber of commerce organisations saw Qantas move to lock in the daily service.

“A seven day schedule offers greater certainly for travellers, and for the business traveller in particular if gives them the flexibility they need.”

Collyns told Australian Business Traveller that passenger uptake on both legs of the new route are already strong.

“We’re really happy with the loadings, and the inbound loads are performing really well – actually inbound from Japan we already have some really good numbers coming through.”

Collyns confirms that an upgrade for the Brisbane Airport’s international Qantas lounges is on the way, and tips it will be a substantial one.

“We’ve got a lot of plans, and we’ll see some really good development happening in the next 12-18 months.”

The issue of retaining separate first class and business class lounges or combining them into a single lounge “is one of the questions we’re asking ourselves” Collyns said.

“But you’ve seen what we've done internationally, in Los Angeles and particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore, so I think what we will see here is a really good concept.”

Collyns also hinted at a larger physical footprint for the lounges to cater for higher passenger levels, which will be further buoyed by the daily Brisbane-Narita flight.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 340

QF did not axe BNE-NRT in 2010. It was JL although it was codeshared with QF. 

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2343

AH, my mistake there - was looking at QF sched, thanks for the pickup Michael!

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 952

JAL dumped BNE when it was going through bankruptcy.

QF dumped MEL-NRT in 2008

Any idea what aircraft QF will be using? My recent trip to NRT was on JL 777. Service was ok but would prefer QF. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574


24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2343

An Airbus A330, inaugural flight was on one of the refitted aircraft with the new Business Suites and economy class seats.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 272

Lounge upgrade long overdue and very welcome!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2014

Total posts 145

If QF where to upgrade the BNE J lounge , what lounge would they assign passengers to during the upgrade? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 340

2 possibilities:

1. Emirate lounge being the most likely due to their partnership. 

2. Plaza Premium which is due to open in early 2016. So perfect timing for them to start renovating QF lounge. 

IMO, not only just the deco needs upgrade, they simply need a bigger lounge. Current lounge can't cope with the traffic in the morning. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 253

The EK lounge isn't open when QF61/51/15 departs, so QF would not only be paying for pax to use the lounge, they'd be paying for it to stay open (or open just for their flights).

The PP Lounge would be a great idea, but again you'll have all QF premium/high status pax, plus PP holders, plus people paying in.

And if the QF Lounge was to totally close during renovations, the pax of airlines who currently use the QF lounge will need to go elsewhere. The only other lounges are NZ, EK and SQ.


Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 279

I am assuming Adelaide might get the remains.Goes down as a Nonstop but returns back via Melbourne.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 335

Brisbane got them all...

03 Aug 2015

Total posts 59

Great to see Qantas exapaning into Japan, would live to see Qantas fly from Melbourne to Tokyo, better for bussiness travellers than Jetstar 

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 952

If only because MEL is a far better airport then SYD or BNE.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 272

Melbourne Domestic is better then Brisbane, but Brisbane International is much better than Melbourne, particularly now the upgrade is all complete. 


19 Jan 2015

Total posts 3

So has the Melbourne-Tokyo direct option now been abandoned?


10 Dec 2015

Total posts 179

It would be news to me as I'm totally unaware of any plan by QF Group to abandon the 6x wkly NRT-MEL nonstop service by JQ that has been around for yrs....

It's interesting to note that on every route between Japan and Australia, QF and JQ have never overlapped with each other and I  suspect never will....purely coincidence or by A.J.'s strategic design(Likely as a result of detailed mkt segment demand analysis)?  Go figure....

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