DALLAS – Qantas’ (QF) post-pandemic recovery will see the airline operate nonstop flights three times per week from Brisbane (BNE) to Japan’s Tokyo Haneda (HND).
The service has been secured under the ‘Attracting Aviation Investment Fund’, an AU$200m joint fund established by the state government of Queensland to support the state’s tourism industry.
The route is scheduled to launch on December 1. QF will use its Airbus A330-300 aircraft, which can accommodate up to 297 passengers. Services from BNE to HND will run on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, leaving at 1150 local time and landing at 2000 local time. The return flights will depart from Haneda at 21:30 and land in Brisbane at 07:35, all local times.
“Since the 1980s, Queensland has relied heavily on the Japanese market,” Ryan Both, Executive General Manager of Aviation at BNE, said. The flights will use this pipeline to support jobs and the regional travel and tourism sector.
Stirling Hinchliffe, Tourism Minister for Queensland, said the flights marked a pivotal step for Brisbane and the state. “Pre-COVID-19, for the year ended December 2019, Japan represented the third largest market by expenditure and fourth largest by visitation to Queensland. In that year Japanese visitors totalled about 219,000 generating AU$459.7 million in overnight expenditure and an average length of stay of 15.8 days.”
According to Qantas International CEO Andrew David, the introduction of flights between the two cities will draw more tourists to Queensland. “Qantas is the first airline to run scheduled, commercial flights between Haneda and Brisbane, and forward reservations are tracking well, in particular for the forthcoming Australian holiday period,” he said.
Queensland industry will also rely on the route. Japan has been Queensland’s top export market since May 2022 and a significant technological partner for the developing hydrogen and renewable power sectors.
Given that Japan has been the top holiday destination looked for by Australians for the past 20 years, Queenslanders are also anticipated to be big fans of the flights. This will be aided by Japan’s scheme for short-stay tourist and business travel, reinstated from October 11. You won’t require a visa to visit Japan or book a trip through a tour operator for durations of up to 90 days.
Featured Image: Qantas will use its Airbus A330s on the route. Photo: Malcolm Nason/Airways