Those who have been to Tokyo before would know that the immense Japanese capital has two airports; one more convenient than the other. Narita, probably the best known and most frequented, is furthest from the city, while Haneda is highly sought by visitors as the most convenient of the two.
This is largely due to Haneda’s proximity to the heart of Tokyo, with less travel time required and a much easier sprawl to navigate. Return visitors to Tokyo have been known to prefer flying in and out of Haneda to maximise time exploring one of the world’s greatest cities.
For Aussies, access to Haneda only looking to improve in the near future as the Japanese Government have announced its intention to open up 50 additional daily slot pairings at Tokyo-Haneda airport from the end of March 2020. These will be split equally between Japanese carriers and foreign carriers, with at least two of these slot pairings going to services between Australia and Japan.
Virgin Australia have put their hand up and will apply to the International Air Services Commission for one of the available slots, referencing the importance of the Japanese market for both inbound and outbound travel to Australia.
Assuming they do win the slot, this will mark a very important expansion to the already numerous options Australians have when looking to explore Japan – and vice versa. It’ll also bring in more competition, which could possibly mean lower airfares.
Although they will be met with some stiff competition, with rival Qantas having already applied to the IASC for both of the available slots. Reportedly, the airline plans to use these slots to introduce a second daily direct service between Sydney and Haneda, while also bringing their Melbourne-Narita service to the super convenient airport.