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.