Japan’s All Nippon Airways is one of few major overseas airlines still regularly flying to Australia during the coronavirus pandemic, albeit on a reduced schedule, with the coronavirus scuttling plans to launch double-daily flightsbetween Sydney and Tokyo’s downtown Haneda Airport in March.
However, the Star Alliance member and newly-minted Virgin Australia partner has now marked June 1 as a restart date for the postponed new NH889/NH890 flights, which will largely take place during daylight hours as a complement to the long-standing overnight NH879/NH880 service.
It’s tentative at best, depending not only on government travel restrictions being lifted but also the public’s willingness to travel.
Japan remains in a ‘state of emergency’, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week asking people to conduct ‘virtual family reunions’ online during the national Golden Week holidays from late April to early May, which is the country’s peak travel period.
2019 saw an estimated 24 million Japanese – 20% of the population – boarding planes and bullet trains to visit their family or take holidays.
Sydney-Tokyo flights continue
In normal times, Japan is one of Australia’s favourite travel destinations, and ANA’s double-daily service to Tokyo would compete against daily flights by Qantas and JAL on the popular route.
Until at least June 1, ANA will continue with three round-trips each week between Sydney and Tokyo.
NH879 will depart Tokyo at 10:30pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, calling into Sydney at 8:55am the next morning.
After spending the day on the ground, the