Japan Airlines (“JAL”) is to add a second daily London Heathrow – Tokyo Haneda flight with effect from Sunday 29 October 2017.
This means that, together with its joint-venture partner British Airways, JAL will offer four flights a day between London and Tokyo. BA will continue to fly to both Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda airports daily.
The new JAL flight (JL41 & J42) will depart London Heathrow at 09:30 and return to London Heathrow at 06:25. The flight will be operated by a Boeing 787 in a three class configuration.
It’s noteworthy that BA and JAL have chosen to add capacity between London and Japan when history has shown that inbound visitors from Japan to Europe can be very sensitive to terrorist incidents.
In addition, BA and JAL have chosen to a fourth daily frequency from London to Tokyo, rather than add a flight to an unserved destination in Japan such as Osaka or Nagoya. This does give BA and JAL a substantial frequency advantage over All Nippon Airlines which is the only other airline to fly between London and Tokyo after Virgin Atlantic withdrew from Tokyo on 31 January 2015.
The new flight will be on sale at Japan Airlines from Friday 14 July 2017.
Iberia is to examine opening new routes (and in some cases re-instating routes) to Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara (Mexico), Managua (Nicaragua), San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia and Asuncion (Paraguay) the airline announced today, 31 July 2015.
The routes are likely to launch in 2016 and 2017 and are subject to its parent company, International Airlines Group, placing orders for additional aircraft, including five Airbus 330-200 aircraft, with Airbus.
IAG also hopes to order a further eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft as a replacement for Iberia’s existing fleet. An announcement could be made as early as next week.
That said, it has to be said it is somewhat unusual for an airline to announce a possible order for aircraft in advance of it being finalised.
Nor do airlines normally give away much with regard to future route launches, for obvious competitive reasons (though negotiations with airports on landing fees could be a factor).
Of the routes mentioned Doha and Tokyo are noteworthy as these would be the airline’s only routes to the Middle East and Asia and would be the airline’s first step in making Madrid a global (rather than purely west bound) long-haul hub. We assume they would be supported by code shares with fellow Oneworld alliance partners Qatar Airways and Japan Airlines.
It is noteworthy that Hong Kong and Singapore are not listed, particularly Hong Kong as it is the hub of fellow alliance partner Cathay Pacific.
The launch of more routes to Central and South America also cements Iberia’s position in this market. We are surprised not to see more North American destinations, but these are of course well served by British Airways.
Virgin Atlantic has announced a significant over-haul of its network, suspending a number of non-US routes. Mumbai & Tokyo are suspended from 31 January 2015. Seasonal flights to Vancouver & Cape Town are suspended from 11 October 2014 and 26 April 2015.