Virgin set for Haneda flts
VIRGIN Australia looks set to operate its first services to Japan, with the International Air Services Commission (IASC) releasing a Draft Determination allocating one of the two new daily slots available at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to the carrier.
The commission found that allowing Virgin Australia to enter the market for air services between Australia & Japan would “likely lead to improved services & airfare competition, providing greater benefit to the public”.
The remaining slot will go to Qantas, which applied for both frequencies under a plan to use one to replace its current Melbourne to Tokyo-Narita service with a Melbourne to Haneda flight and the other as a daily Sydney-Haneda return service, providing an alternative timing for its current evening flight.
The commission has also specified Virgin’s allocation may be used for codeshare services on the Japan route with All Nippon Airways, subject to conditions.
The commission said this allocation was “most likely to foster an environment in which Australian carriers can effectively compete with each other & with foreign carriers on the Australia-Japan route”.
Both airlines said in their applications that the allocation would be fully utilised by 29 Mar.
The frequencies became available following a revision to the Australla-Japan air services arrangements ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, allowing for two new daily return flights for Australian airlines and two for Japanese airlines between Australia and Haneda.
QF has not yet said publicly what it would do if it is only allocated one frequency.
Submissions on the draft determination close 24 Oct.