Qantas’ direct flights between Sydney and Osaka take off today, providing passengers with another gateway into Japan following strong growth in travel between the two countries.
Qantas’ fourth route between Australia and Japan begins as the airline celebrates 70 years of flying between the two countries.
The year-round direct flights will operate three times per week with Qantas’ upgraded two-class Airbus A330 aircraft and will be the only direct service linking Sydney and Osaka.
The service adds to the airline’s popular Sydney-Tokyo (Haneda), Brisbane-Tokyo (Narita) and Melbourne-Tokyo (Narita) services and complements Jetstar’s Cairns-Osaka service. With Jetstar’s flights from Cairns and the Gold Coast to Tokyo (Narita), customers will have even more options when travelling between Australia and Japan.
Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said it was an exciting time to be launching the new service with travel between the two countries booming.
“We initially announced the route as a seasonal service but quickly extended it to year-round to meet customer demand,” she said.
“Australia has seen a 23 per cent increase in the number of Japanese travellers visiting the country on the last year with many staying longer and spending more while they’re here.
“We have also seen growth in the number of Japanese school groups travelling with us, with many booking multi-city itineraries including visits to Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Uluru which is great news for local tour operators, hotels and restaurants.
“And with the 2015 Free Trade Agreement, we’re confident the service will also open up new opportunities for companies to explore and build business in the region, further strengthening the trade relationship between the two countries.”
The Qantas Group operates the largest Australia-Japan network and through Jetstar Japan, the Group also operates the largest low-cost domestic network across Japan. More than half of the Qantas Group’s international capacity is directed towards Asia.
Qantas is working with Tourism Australia and Destination New South Wales to showcase Australia and highlight the new service in Japan.
QANTAS SYDNEY – OSAKA SCHEDULE
Note: from 26 March 2018, Thursday’s service will change to Wednesday, so the weekly schedule will be Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
A HISTORY OF QANTAS IN JAPAN
|1920||W.H Fysh and P.J McGinness establish Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services, abbreviated to Qantas.|
|1947||On 18 December, Qantas’ inaugural flight to Japan arrives in Hofu in Yamaguchi from Sydney carrying six passengers and 1,200 pounds of mail. The flight takes 27 hours and 21 minutes from Sydney using a Lancastrian aircraft.|
|1948||Qantas starts to operate a service to Haneda.|
|1952||Qantas starts to operate a twice weekly service between Tokyo and Sydney.|
|1959||Lockheed Electra operates between Tokyo and Sydney taking 18 hours 51 minutes.|
|1961||Qantas introduces a weekly service between Tokyo and Sydney on a Boeing 707-138B. Travelling time was reduced to 13 hours 51 minutes.|
|1967||Company name changes from Qantas Empire Airways to Qantas Airways Limited.|
|1973||Qantas commences a non-stop service between Tokyo and Sydney on a new Boeing 707-338.|
|1978||Tokyo New International Airport (Narita) opens. Qantas moves its base in Japan from Haneda to Narita.|
|1987||Qantas adds Nagoya to the network.|
|1994||Osaka Kansai airport opens on 4 September. Qantas commences Kansai-Brisbane-Sydney services five times per week. The inaugural flight to Kansai was operated by Boeing 747-400 Wunala Dreaming.|
|2015||Qantas launches two new services between Japan and Australia on 1 August: between Haneda and Sydney, and Narita and Brisbane.|
|2016||Qantas launches a new service between Narita and Melbourne on 16 December.|
|2017||Qantas launches a new service between Osaka and Sydney on 14 December.|
|2017||Qantas celebrates 70 years of flying between Australia and Japan on 18 December.|