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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 for 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.
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.