Its selfie time at Melbourne as Qantas begins its 23rd route and its eighth international service – a daily service to Tokyo Narita. The city pair will see direct competition from in-house LCC Jetstar Airways which also flies the route daily.
- Qantas started daily A330-300 flights from Melbourne (MEL) to Tokyo Narita (NRT) on 16 December. The route becomes the carrier’s 23rd city pair and its eighth international sector from its second biggest hub (in terms of weekly seats). Jetstar Airways, the in-house LCC of Qantas, will provide the only albeit friendly competition on the 8,172 kilometre sector, with its own daily service. However, Jetstar will cease serving the route on 25 February next year at the end of the peak season. CEO of Qantas International and Freight, Gareth Evans, said: “We’re delighted to be stepping up our commitment to the Japanese market at a boom time for tourism and business travel. The Qantas Group is perfectly placed to support the resurgent growth we’re seeing, with the biggest Australia-Japan network, the biggest domestic network in Australia, and the biggest low-cost carrier network in Japan through Jetstar. Our dual-brand strategy and the size of our fleet means we have the ability to move quickly to meet demand where it’s strongest, putting the right aircraft on the right route. We have received great feedback on the world-class product we’ve created for our A330 fleet, and now even more customers flying to Japan will be able to enjoy the reconfigured aircraft. We lifted Qantas’ capacity on Asian routes by 17% last financial year, so this is very much part of a larger pivot to Asia.”