Virgin Australia to launch new service to Tokyo after securing landing slot

Virgin Australia will launch new services to Japan after trumping Qantas in a fight for landing rights at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

Virgin and Qantas both applied for two landings slots that had been made available for Australian airlines at Haneda Airport, with Qantas trying to secure both while Virgin only asked for one.

A draft decision by Australia’s International Air Services Commission (IASC) has awarded one slot to each airline, saying that a new Virgin service to Japan would “likely elicit a competitive response from other airlines… and would likely lead to improved services and airfare competition”.

Virgin said it will use the slot to launch a daily service out of Brisbane using A330-200 aircraft starting on March 29.

“We’re pleased that the International Air Services Commission has issued a draft determination, proposing to award Virgin Australia with one of the daily frequencies to Haneda, Japan,” Virgin said. “Virgin Australia plans to use this allocation to operate a daily service between Brisbane and Haneda from 29 March 2020 and bring strong competition and choice to the market.

“We can’t wait to provide guests with the best value fares and our unique Virgin experience to Japan.”

Virgin has already inked a code-share deal with All Nippon Airways for flights between the two countries and on connecting domestic flights.