For the first time since the pandemic hit, non-stop Brisbane to Japan passenger services are about to resume. Qantas will fly three times a week between Brisbane and Haneda Airport in Tokyo. The route has been secured under the $200 million joint State Government and industry Attracting Aviation Investment Fund, which was created to boost Queensland’s tourism sector.
The new Qantas services are set to begin on Thursday 1 December. Qantas will deploy Airbus A330-300 aircraft on the route, capable of carrying up to 297 passengers. Brisbane to Haneda services will operate Monday, Thursday and Saturday departing at 1150 and arriving 2000 in Haneda. Flights will depart Haneda at 2130 on Monday, Thursday and Saturday and arrive in Brisbane at 0735.
“Since the 1980s, the Japanese market has been an important one for Queensland. The start of non-stop flights from Tokyo to Brisbane will once again open this pipeline to support jobs and the local tourism industry,” according to Ryan Both, executive general manager of aviation at Brisbane Airport.
Queensland’s Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the start of the Qantas flights was an important milestone 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 $459.7 million in overnight expenditure and an average length of stay of 15.8 days.”
Qantas International CEO Andrew David says the launch of the flights between Haneda and Brisbane will entice more visitors to Queensland. “Qantas is the first airline to operate commercial scheduled flights between Haneda and Brisbane and forward bookings are tracking well, in particular for the upcoming Australian holiday period,” he said.
The route will also be critical for Queensland industry. Since May 2022, Japan has regained its status as Queensland’s largest export destination and a key technology partner for the emerging hydrogen and renewable power sectors. The flights are also expected to be popular for Queenslanders with Google revealing Japan is the number one travel destination searched by Australians over the past 20 years. Japan will resume its visa exemption scheme for short-stay tourism and business travel from October 11. You’ll no longer need a visa to travel to Japan for stays of up to 90 days or arrange your holiday through a tour operator.