Japan air travel swells

AIRLINE activity into Japan is buzzing on the back of a surge in Aussies heading to the island nation. Last financial year 290,000 more Australians ticked Japan off their list, 50,000 more than the previous year, departure figures show. Qantas has revved up its number of seats on Japanese routes to 6,000 each week, launching its first Melbourne-Tokyo Narita service in December. The airline cited strong demand fuelled by a 20% yearly growth rate of travel between Japan and Australia.

The airline’s new route is operated by an upgraded, two-class Airbus A330-300 aircraft and follows the launch of new Sydney-Tokyo Haneda and Brisbane-Tokyo Narita routes in 2015.

Meanwhile, ANA is eyeing new destinations in Australia ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics in Japan, having achieved load factors above 90% on its Sydney route. The airline’s vice president and general manager Oceania, Ryo Sadayuki said sales on the Sydney route had surpassed expectations, giving the airline optimism for future Australian routes. Sadayuki hinted Melbourne and Brisbane were likely destinations for ANA.