IASC confirms Japan ruling
QANTAS and Virgin Australia will each commence a new daily service to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport by 29 Mar 2020, under the terms of a formal International Air Services Commission (IASC) determination issued yesterday.
The final ruling comprehensively discusses the controversy around the contested route, with Qantas applying for both of the newly available Haneda slots but only awarded one.
The decision will see Virgin Australia fly to Japan for the first time, with its proposed Brisbane-Haneda flights permitted to be utilised for joint services with All Nippon Airways (ANA).
Qantas had proposed new daily Melbourne-Haneda flights, replacing its existing Narita service to the Vic capital, along with a second daily Sydney-Haneda service.
Now that only a single QF frequency has been allocated, it’s at this stage unclear how the airline will utilise the capacity.
The IASC assessed the plans of both carriers, saying that the allocation of one frequency to each was of “the greatest benefit to the public”.
“The addition of Virgin Australia’s operations on the Australia-Japan route is likely to broaden product choice,” the Commission said, as well as an expectation having two airlines offering services will promote tourism to a wider area within Australia and enable the greater dispersal of air transport.
A range of non-overlapping city pairs for ANA/VA codesharing have been proposed to the IASC on a confidential basis.
The expansion of Haneda flights follows Japan’s release of 50 new slots in the lead-up to next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.