Virgin Australia Wins Over Qantas Airways For Haneda Airport Slot

Recently, Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia had fiercely contested a battle for slots at Haneda Airport.

Virgin Australia seems almost sure to introduce services to Japan for the first time. This is by beating more significant contender Qantas in locking up the rights at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

Both Virgin and Qantas have applied for two scarce landings slots at Haneda. These slots were made available to Australian airlines.

Meanwhile, Virgin was asking for one of the new slots, and Qantas was trying to secure both.

On Monday, Australia’s International Air Services Commission (IASC) issued a draft decision. It has awarded one slot to each airline, stating that Virgin entering the route was the best result for consumers.

In a statement, IASC said, Virgin flying to Japan for the first time would “likely elicit a competitive response from other airlines… and would likely lead to improved services and airfare competition.”

On the other side, Virgin stated it would use the slot to promote a daily service out of Brisbane. This is by using A330-200 aircraft beginning on March 29.

Additional Proposals Before Reaching A Final Decision

The plan is ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in July.

A Virgin spokeswoman said on Monday, “We can’t wait to provide guests with the best value fares and our unique Virgin experience to Japan.”

The declaration of the new route comes as Virgin’s boss Paul Scurrah undertakes a complete review of its network. This is in line with improving the struggling carrier’s financial performance.

Qantas has already flown away from Sydney to Haneda. But its services from Melbourne and Brisbane land at Tokyo’s other airport, Narita. This airport is significantly farther from the city center.

The airline wanted both of the new slots to move its flight from Melbourne from Narita to Haneda. Moreover, to add another daily flight between Haneda and Sydney.

On Monday, a spokesman said Qantas would approve soon how it will use its one new slot.

The IASC will take further proposals before reaching a final decision.

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