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New Japanese flights added by Q...

New Japanese flights added by Qantas

Starting from December 16th, Qantas will be launching daily direct flights between Melbourne and Tokyo’s Narita Airport. 

Australia's national carrier announced the move in response to growing demand for flights to and from Japan. 

It also comes as part of a wider move on the part of the firm to push growth in tourism between Asia and Australia. 

Gareth Evans, chief executive officer of Qantas International and Freight, said: "We're delighted to be stepping up our commitment to the Japanese market at a boom time for tourism and business travel." 

He noted that the new service builds on Qantas' long history of flying to Japan, as well as on the significant market expansion that has been seen over the past year.

An upgraded, two-class A330-300 with 297 seats will operate the new route - and this is the aircraft widely seen as best in class for the business market. 

The Melbourne to Tokyo (Narita) route joins Qantas' existing Sydney to Tokyo (Haneda) and Brisbane to Tokyo (Narita) services, which were launched in 2015. 

Travellers will also be connected to services as part of the wider Qantas Group network, such as Jetstar's extensive domestic network within Japan and flights across the Tasman. 

Japanese visitor numbers to Australia grew be 17 per cent across the 2015/16 financial year, with some $1.5 billion being spent by those tourists. The latter figure represents an annual growth of 14 per cent. 

Rapid growth has also been reported in terms of outbound travel by Australians to Japan, as there was a 24 per cent increase in 2015.

"Our dual-brand strategy and the size of our fleet means we have the ability to move quickly to meet demand where it's strongest, putting the right aircraft on the right route," Mr Evans remarked.  

"We lifted Qantas' capacity on Asian routes by 17 per cent last financial year, so this is very much part of a larger pivot to Asia."

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