Victoria backs Qantas plans for nonstop Melbourne-Tokyo Haneda flight

The fight for two slots at Tokyo Haneda Airport between Qantas and Virgin Australia is heating up with the Victorian Government coming out if favour of Qantas.

Qantas is seeking the two new slots for Australia-Tokyo Haneda services to add a second daily Sydney-Tokyo Haneda rotation, as well as switch its current Melbourne-Tokyo Narita flight to the close-in Haneda airport.

The announcement follows Tourism Australia backing Virgin in its quest to snag one of the valuable slots at Tokyo Haneda Airport to begin nonstop Brisbane-Tokyo Haneda services.

“The Victorian Government, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions supports the Qantas application and welcomes this allocation opportunity, which will provide direct flights between Melbourne and Haneda for the first time,” the department’s deputy secretary David Latina said.

“Proximity of Haneda Airport to Tokyo and Qantas Airways proposal has the potential to attract premium and business travellers who prefer convenience to serve their travel needs and contribute to their professional success.”

Qantas said in its submission to the International Air Services Commission that it is the “only no risk option”.

“For Qantas, which has proven its specific and ongoing commitment to the Japan route during both periods of growth and declining demand, there is no risk that additional services to/from Haneda Airport will be launched and maintained,” Qantas said.

Virgin has seen Brisbane Airport, Tourism Australia and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission throw their support behind their bid.