Qantas Airways has announced a new seasonal route connecting Sydney, Australia and Osaka, Japan. It will be the only direct flight between Sydney, Australia’s largest city, and Osaka, Japan’s second largest. Service will operate three times per week between December 14, 2017 and March 24, 2018.
The new route will compliment Qantas low-cost subsidiary Jetstar’s Boeing 787 service between Cairns Airport (CNS) and KIX.
“This December, we celebrate 70 years of flying to Japan, and we’re delighted to add another destination to the growing list of services Qantas operates between the two countries at a time when travel to Japan is booming,” said Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans. “Our commitment to the Japanese market is reflective of the strength of this growth, which we are very well placed to support with the largest Australia-Japan network, the largest domestic network in Australia, and the largest low-cost domestic network across Japan through Jetstar Japan.”
Qantas will use upgraded, two-class Airbus A330 aircraft on the route. Most flights will feature the 297 seat A330-300s, but, according to Australian Aviation, some Monday routes will be operated by the 271 seat A330-200.
Flights will depart on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. However, the flight schedule for the three days varies slightly. On Mondays, flight QF33 will leave Sydney Airport (SYD) at 1:25pm (local time) and arrive at Osaka Kansai International Airport (KIX) at 9:20pm (local time). It will then depart KIX at 10:50pm and arrive in SYD at 10:40am the next day.
On Thursdays and Saturdays, flights will leave SYD at 9:30am at arrive in KIX at 5:25pm. Return flights will depart at 6:55pm and arrive back at SYD at 6:45am the next morning.
“Japan is our sixth largest inbound market with an incredible 32% growth last year alone,” said Kerrie Mather, Sydney Airport Managing Director and CEO. “We’re delighted to welcome an additional Qantas service during the northern winter to help meet this growing demand. Osaka is our largest unserved market, so this is great news for our customers and for the local visitor economy.”
Qantas timed the route so that Japanese passengers can catch connections on Qantas’s Australian and trans-Tasman networks. In addition, Australian passengers will be able to arrive in Osaka in time to catch connections in Jetstar Japan’s domestic network.
For travelers that will be in Sydney or our Australian readers who are excited by this new flight, Qantas is offering special launch fares on this route. SYD-KIX economy tickets for travel between December 14 to 31, 2017 and January 8, 2018 to March 24, 2018 will start at $699. Meanwhile, all-inclusive SYD-KIX return Business tickets will start at $3,499 for travel between December 14, 2017 to March 24, 2018. Hurry to buy your tickets, though, because this sale ends at 11:59pm on August 4, 2017.*
The last time that Qantas flew to Osaka was during 2006-07. Qantas operated B767-300ER aircraft between CNS and KIX. Qantas took the route from Australian Airlines, its long-haul low-cost subsidiary, before transferring the route again to Jetstar, who operated the route on A330-200s before switching to the 787.
Before that, Qantas flew to KIX in the 1990s. It operated the route with a B747 on a SYD-KIX-BNE-SYD rotation (BNE is the code representing Brisbane Airport). It then switched to a CNS-KIX route, and again to a Melbourne (MEL)-KIX service. Both were operated by 767-300ERs.
Why is Qantas bringing back this route now? Evans explains that it’s driven by tourism. “Wrth a number of exciting events being hosted in Japan in the coming years, including the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are expecting to see travel between the two countries grow well into the future.”
In addition, Australian travelers will be able to catch the Japanese snow season through early March, and a few travelers may be able to catch the start of the famous cherry blossom season, which usually begins in late March.
“These flights will be a great support to the export tourism industry and will help us to capitalize on a market that is re-engaging with Australia after a long period of stagnation,” said Peter Shelley, Managing Director of the Australian Tourism Export Council. “Qantas has moved quickly to recognize the growing demand for Japan, once one of our key international markets, and which has grown by 18% in visitor numbers in the past 12 months.”
Osaka isn’t the only destination in Japan that Qantas serves. The Australian flag carrier also flies from Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne to Tokyo.
*This expiration reflects the time zone that Sydney, Australia is in. Please coordinate your purchase with your own time zone to make sure that you can take advantage of the offer.