The Flying Kangaroo has bounced into the new year with a series of new routes and new flights, plus the promise of more to come.
The first of six seasonal Qantas flights between Sydney and Vancouver touched down this weekend in the Canadian city, the Boeing 747 bringing with it Aussie tourists keen to sample the northern winter ski season.
Passengers can continue to destinations such as Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg via Qantas' partnership with Canadian airline WestJet.
The Vancouver service is part of a shift in Qantas’ approach to schedules which places greater emphasis on bringing on flights during high seasons, when demand is greatest and fares can be priced accordingly.
Sydney-Vancouver to continue through 2015?
The direct twice-weekly flights, departing Sydney on Wednesdays and Saturdays and Vancouver on Sundays and Thursdays, will run until January 22, although Qantas will consider extending the schedule on an ongoing basis.
Star Alliance member Air Canada is the only other airline with direct services between Sydney and Vancouver.
A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Australian Business Traveller at the time that that if granted, the IASC submission would “permit Qantas to operate up to 3 return services per week between Australia and Canada” year-round.
More Tokyo flights, too
Qantas is expected to soon reveal which Australian city will get thrice-weekly flights to Tokyo's Narita Airport on the back of the new four times a week service between Brisbane and Narita.
The Brisbane-Tokyo flights will begin on August 1 on an Airbus A330, with the route eventually seeing the airline's new Business Suite business class (below) and upgraded economy seats.
AusBT review: Qantas A330 Business Suite business class
Qantas' current daily Sydney-Narita flights will shift to Haneda, Tokyo's second international airport which is preferred by many business travellers as it's located much closer to the city itself.
While Narita is Tokyo's largest and busiest international airport it's also a long way from the city, taking almost an hour on airport express train services to the city centre compared to less than half an hour from Haneda on the Tokyo Monorail.
Business class and top-tier frequent flyers will have access to Haneda's recently-revamped Japan Airlines business lounge and first class lounge (above), as well as Cathay Pacific's newly-opened lounge (below).
AusBT review: Cathay Pacific Haneda Airport lounge
“We expect the Sydney to Haneda services to be particularly popular with business travellers" predicts Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, "and this traffic is likely to keep growing off the back of the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Japan."
“This is great news for customers travelling from Australia to Tokyo and popular destinations across Japan" enthused Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
“Haneda is located close to downtown Tokyo and provides a great option for customers wanting to get to the city quickly or those wanting to connect seamlessly with services from our partner, JAL.”
It's predicted that the number of Australians travelling to Japan is expected to grow by 13% in the next two years, along with a boost to business travel between the two countries due to the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Japan.
Qantas' Oneworld partner Japan Airlines runs Boeing 777 flights from Sydney into Narita, although JAL's competitor and Star Alliance member ANA is tipped to launch a Sydney-Tokyo service in late 2015.
Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT