Qantas has this morning revealed that it will become the first airline to launch non-stop flights between Melbourne and Tokyo’s Haneda International Airport.

The year-round flights to Haneda will operate daily from 29 March 2020 onboard Airbus A330, replacing the airline’s existing service between Melbourne and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

The flights are expected to save travellers more than an hour commuting into the city and complement Qantas’ existing daily flights from Sydney to Haneda.

Qantas is also making improvements for customers flying from Haneda Airport.

Eligible customers are now able to access the Priority Lane at the airport’s security checkpoint, as well as Japan Airlines’ Sakura Lounge.

The new flights are on sale from today and customers already booked to travel from Melbourne to Narita will be automatically transferred onto these services or can make alternative arrangements.

The announcement comes as the airline’s new seasonal flights from Sydney to Sapporo take off today, coinciding with the busy ski season in Japan.

Qantas is the only airline to connect Australia directly with the Hokkaido region and the service is the national carrier’s fifth route between Australia and Japan.

Meanwhile, Qantas has also announced it will extend its seasonal service to Sapporo for another year.

The flights will operate three times per week during the 2020-21 ski season from 14 December 2020 to 27 February 2021 with the airline’s upgraded A330.

Karryon - Japan Winter

Qantas International CEO, Tino La Spina said “Japan is arguably the most in-demand place in the world to visit in 2020″.

“The number of Australians travelling to Japan has more than doubled over the past five years, with more than 500,000 Australians visiting Japan in the last 12 months alone,” he said.

He expects the new Haneda service to be particularly popular with business travellers, who will save more than an hour of transit time in getting to the city and also starts ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.